Entire Russian Government Resigns As Putin Seeks Further Consolidation Of Powers
Russia’s prime minister and its entire government resigned on Wednesday as President Vladimir Putin seeks to make sweeping constitutional changes, according to NBC News.
In his annual state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the constitutional changes would reorganize the structure of their political system. The changes include handing the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, the power to choose Russia’s prime minister among other key positions.
“Of course these are very serious changes to the political system,” Putin said, adding that he believed Parliament and civil society are ready for the changes.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a longtime ally of Putin’s, announced on state TV that the government he leads was resigning in order to give the president room to carry out the changes he envisions for the constitution.
Putin has been in power for nearly two decades as either president or prime minister and was due to finish his fourth presidential term in 2024. The current constitution would bar him from immediately running for president again.
Yet, Russian media has circulated speculation in recent months about whether Putin will attempt to stay in power beyond 2024 without changing the constitution.