Russian President, Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of his prime minister on Wednesday after proposing constitutional amendments that would allow him to remain in power indefinitely.
In his state of the nation annual address on Wednesday, Putin proposed a referendum on amending Russia’s constitution to increase the powers of parliament while maintaining a strong presidential system.
“I consider it necessary to conduct a vote by the country’s citizens on an entire package of proposed amendments to the country’s constitution,” Putin said.
He also suggested an amendment of the constitution to allow lawmakers to name prime ministers and cabinet members.
“It will increase the role of parliament and parliamentary parties, powers and independence of the prime minister and all cabinet members,” Putin said.
“We will be able to build a strong prosperous Russia only on the basis of respect for public opinion.
“Together we will certainly change life for the better. Russia must remain a strong presidential republic.”
After President Putin made his plans known, his entire government including the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev tendered their resignation to him.
The Kremlin announced later Wednesday that Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin has been named as Russia’s new prime minister. The 53-year-old Mishustin has worked in the government since 1998. Mishustin has a kept low profile while serving as the head of the Federal Tax Service since 2010. Putin’s choice of Mishustin, who lacks any political weight, indicates that he will not play an independent role.