In an absolutely abrupt manner, the entire Russian government has resigned on January 15, 2020. Major constitutional changes are expected to follow yesterday’s development. The news was declared to the nation by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (he was also Russian president for four years from 2008) on state television.
While addressing the nation, Putin said,
"Today in our society there is a clear demand for change, People want development, they are striving to move forward in their careers, in their education, in becoming prosperous…. We will be able to build a strong prosperous Russia only on the basis of respect for public opinion.”
Head of the Russian tax service, Mikhail Mishustin, has been made PM by Putin, after Medvedev and his government resigned. The president has promised that the unfolding changes will significantly shift Russia’s balance of power. Role of regional governors is also sought to be strengthened.
Putin has proposed that nationwide voting will take place on the move which is slated to bring in sweeping constitutional changes and strengthen parliament's role. These changes will give more authority to parliament, including the power to choose the PM and cabinet members, instead of the president as under the existing system.
Putin is in his 4th term as President and Russian constitution doesn’t allow one to hold power beyond that. As only 4 years are left for Putin to be at the helm of affairs, these proposed changes are alleged to be taken to secure Putin’s influence beyond 2024, when he retires.
Medvedev is now made deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, which is chaired by Putin. The outgoing government is asked to stay in the office till new cabinet takes over.
Following are the words of Putin said in a meeting of ministers;
“For my part, I also want to thank you for everything that was done at this stage of our joint work; I want to express satisfaction with the results that have been achieved”
It is speculated that Putin can assume a new post or remain in a powerful behind-the-scenes position to control the government machinery.
Author: Parth Thummar