The Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, presented to President Vladimir Putin, Wednesday, January 15, the resignation of his government. This surprise announcement came after a speech by the Head of State announcing a reform of the Constitution.
"We, as the government of the Russian Federation, must give the president of our country the means to take all the necessary measures. That is why (...) the government as a whole gives its resignation, "said the resigning Prime Minister, according to Russian agencies.
The President thanked his outgoing Prime Minister and his ministers, asking them to dispatch current business until the appointment of a new team. He said he offered his loyal collaborator the post of vice-president of the Russian Security Council, a body chaired by the head of state.
Dmitry Medvedev, a close friend of Vladimir Putin, said he was resigning following the president's decision to make "fundamental changes to the Russian constitution", reforms which he says are changing "the balance of power" executive, legislative and judicial.
The role of Parliament strengthened in the formation of government
Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed a series of reforms to the Russian Constitution to strengthen the powers of Parliament, while preserving the presidential character of the political system which he has piloted for 20 years.
The main measure announced aims to strengthen the role of Parliament in the formation of government, giving it the prerogative to elect the Prime Minister whom the president will then be "obliged to appoint".
According to Vladimir Putin, this is a "significant" change for which he judged Russia to be "ripe". The two chambers of Parliament are today dominated by pro-Putin forces and never oppose the wishes of the Kremlin.
A strategy to stay in power?
In power since 1999, whether as president or prime minister, Vladimir Putin will not have the right to stand for re-election in 2024, the Constitution prohibiting the exercise of more than two consecutive presidential terms. He also denied Wednesday any intention to run for president again.
But the announcements made on Wednesday fueled questions about his future after 2024, when he never put forward a successor or expressed his intentions.
His opponents think that Vladimir Putin has no intention of giving up power and that he could be tempted to widen the prerogatives of the Parliament and the Prime Minister before assuming in 2024 the functions of head of government.
With AFP and Reuters
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