IMAGE: Russian President Vladimir Putin with head of the Federal Taxation Service Mikhail Mishustin, who has been named as the country’s new prime minister by him, in Sochi. Photograph: Sputnik/Alexey Nikolskiy/Kremlin via/Reuters
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri A Medvedev and his cabinet resigned on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping constitutional changes that could extend his hold on power for many years.
Putin invited Russian Federal Tax Service head Mikhail Mishustin to become the country’s new PM and the latter accepted the offer.
‘President Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Mikhail Mishustin and invited him to take the prime minister’s post. Having the consent, he submitted Mishustin’s candidacy for the post of the prime minister to the State Duma for consideration,’ said the Kremlin in a statement.
In a statement issued by the Russian news agency Tass, Medvedev linked the unexpected resignations to an overhaul put forward earlier on Wednesday by Putin, New York Times reported.
Putin, who under current law must step down in 2024, proposed amending the Russian Constitution to expand the powers of Parliament and a body called the State Council, which currently carries little weight.
Putin and Medvedev had done something similar in 2008 allowing Putin to remain in charge.
Medvedev was elected President. Putin became prime minister, though he remained the real power in the government, and he returned to the presidency in 2012, when Medvedev became the Prime Minister.