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Putin moves card with an unexpected change of Government that leaves out Medvedev

January 15, 2020
Dimitri Medvedev y Vladimir Putin

Dimitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin – – / Kremlin / dpa

The president proposes as chief minister the head of the tax agency, Mijail Mishustin

MOSCOW, 15 (EUROPE PRESS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has broken the Russian political deck on Wednesday with an announcement of impending constitutional reforms that has resulted in the resignation in block of the Government and the replacement as Prime Minister of Dimitri Medvedev, which will be replaced by the chief from the tax agency, Mijail Mishustin.

Putin moves card with an unexpected change of Government that leaves out MedvedevPutin moves card with an unexpected change of Government that leaves out Medvedev

The cascade of events has begun in the Parliament, where Putin has delivered a speech by the state of the nation in which he has raised without any changes in the Constitution. Thus, although he understands that the 1993 Magna Carta is not “exhausted”, he does consider it necessary to turn it around.

Among the proposed changes is a proposal to provide Parliament with “greater responsibility” in the formation of Government and that it is the Lower House (Duma) who approves the candidacy of the Prime Minister, a position that Putin precisely held between 2008 and 2012 after covering his First stage in the Kremlin and not being able to re-election.

Under this new balance of powers, the president “will not have the right to decline the nominations approved by Parliament” and will be “obliged” to abide by these appointments, Putin explained. The president, however, would reserve the right to cease the head of government “for breach of his responsibilities or loss of confidence.”

THE END OF THE MEDVEDEV STAGE

Medvedev has assumed in a meeting with Putin broadcast on television that these are “fundamental changes” that would modify not only the content of the Magna Carta, “but also the balance of powers as a whole” in Russia, according to statements released by agencies of official Russian news

For this reason, it considers it “obvious” that the Government has to depart to give the maximum political responsibility of the country the “opportunity” to make “all the necessary decisions” in the medium term.

Putin has thanked Medvedev, satisfied with the “joint work” developed in recent years in which the outgoing prime minister has gone from potential 'dolphin' to secondary actor. “We could not do everything, but you can never do everything,” said the president during the meeting.

Putin has asked the members of the Government to remain in office for now, while the process of appointing new positions is concluded. The president, however, has not wasted time and just a few hours after the resignation of Medvedev has already raised the head of the Federal Tax Service as prime minister.

“President Vladimir Putin held a working meeting with Mikhail Mishustin and proposed to him as prime minister. After obtaining his consent, he presented Mishustin's candidacy for the post of prime minister to the State Duma,” reads the official note of the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Putin has also sought accommodation for whoever was president during the four years he could not be in the Kremlin, since Medvedev has agreed to be the 'number two' of the Security Council, an advisory body that advises the president on national security issues.

THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF RUSSIA

Against the backdrop of all these movements is the political future of Russia, since Putin is immersed in what, in theory, is his last term at the helm of the Presidency. The Constitution sets a maximum limit of two consecutive terms, so Putin would have to leave the Kremlin in May 2024.

The president has admitted in his speech on Wednesday open speculation about a possible constitutional reform to remain in power, but has suggested that he will not seek a profound change to perpetuate himself in his current position.

It is not the first time that Putin reaches this limit and, based on the experience of 2008-2014, his departure from the Presidency should not mean the loss of his political influence. The background to Mishustin's appointment remains to be seen and if Putin is willing to give way to a potential successor.

An expert of the 'think tank' Chatham House, Nikolai Petrov, has assured the US network CNN that Putin's speech has put on the table his alleged interest in continuing to govern, but everything would depend on the practical application of reforms so far inaccurate . “We have to wait until the dust settles,” he said.

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