Russia will experience major political upheaval as the country’s prime minister suddenly declared he and his entire government would step down.
Dmitry Medvedev confirmed he and his “catch all” United Russia Party Cabinet would resign from government to allow President Vladimir Putin to finish introducing political reforms that could prolong his influence beyond the looming end of his rule.
“[Putin] outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution, significant changes not only to a number of articles of the constitution but also to the balance of power as a whole,” the prime minister told Russian state television according to CNN. “It is obvious that we, as the government … should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this and, in these conditions, I believe that it would be right, in accordance with Section 117 of the constitution [to resign.]”
Reuters revealed the president can only remain in office until the year 2024 because he has continuously served the Kremlin and as prime minister since 1999.
“Not everything worked out of course but then nothing ever works out totally,” the president said of the outgoing Cabinet according to Reuters.
However, Reuters believes a number of proposals could give Putin, a former KGB officer during the Soviet Union era, the option of once again serving in another key role like prime minister, parliamentary speaker, or possibly head of the State Council beyond 2024.
In such a case he could remove certain powers of the presidency and move them to the new role he decides to accept, a strategy that has already drawn harsh criticism from opposition politician Leonid Volkov and other political opponents.
“It’s clear to everyone that everything is going exclusively toward setting Putin up to rule for life,” he said on social media according to Reuters.
Fellow opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov believes Putin is clearly reorganizing the nation’s political system early after having been returned to office in 2019 for his fourth term as president.
“Constitutional coups like this occur and are completely legal,” Gudkov said.
The president has already nominated Federal Taxation Service Chief Mikhail Mishustin as the next prime minister even though he used to play ice hockey with Putin and there has been no previous discussion about his candidacy. The appointment process will require Parliament to question the nominee.
Moscow’s executive branch of government confirmed the nomination has been accepted.
“With his consent, [Putin] submitted Mishustin’s candidacy for the post of prime minister for consideration by the State Duma,” the Kremlin said.