News Putin drives constitutional change in Russia; Medvedev Waiver

Putin drives constitutional change in Russia; Medvedev Waiver

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MOSCOW – Russian President

Vladimir Putin

he proposed radical constitutional changes that could set the stage for him to exercise political power after his presidency ends, as his former ally, prime minister

Dmitry Medvedev,

He unexpectedly announced that he was resigning.

Mr. Medvedev's resignation came after Mr. Putin presented earlier changes to the Russian constitution that would limit the power of a possible successor if he resigned when his term ended in 2024. Mr. Putin also proposed to increase the role of the State Council, which he already directs.

Critics and supporters of Mr. Putin have speculated that the Russian leader could remain in control after his current mandate expires and guide the policy in a different role, possibly as head of a power Council of State.

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"It is not clear what role he will play, what his status will be. The only thing that is clear is that he will maintain his role as the number one person," said Aleksei Chesnakov, a political analyst and former Kremlin adviser.

Medvedev will remain as prime minister until the new government is formed, Putin said on state television. He said Mr. Medvedev will be offered a newly created position as vice president of the Russian security council.

"Under these conditions, I think it would be right for the Russian Federation government in its current state to resign," said Medvedev, sitting next to Putin.

Mr. Putin proposed

Mikhail Mishustin,

A relatively unknown technocrat who has worked as head of the Russian tax service since 2010, as the next prime minister, according to state news agencies. The Russian state Duma, or lower house of parliament, will consider your candidacy.

Russian shares on the Moscow Stock Exchange initially fell on the news of Mr. Medvedev's resignation, but quickly regained ground, with the MOEX Russia index, the main benchmark index of the shares denominated in rubles, trading unchanged. The ruble was flat against the dollar.

Analysts said Medvedev was probably expelled by Putin, who saw the biggest street protests against his government in almost a decade during the summer, as the Russians have felt the sting of chronic economic problems and the drop in living standards . While Putin has made decisions about defense and foreign policy, Medvedev has been responsible for national and economic policy.

"Medvedev had become quite toxic and unpopular for the Russians," he said.

Tatiana Stanovaya,

founder of R. Politik, a political analysis firm.

She said that while Putin embarks on a possible transition from the presidency, he will need a figure he can trust.

"This is an unexpected divorce between Putin and Medvedev," Stanovaya said. “Putin is looking for someone who can help him implement his constitutional reform, through which he will want to control his future successor. And it seems that Medvedev is not that person. "

Write to Thomas Grove at [email protected] and Georgi Kantchev at [email protected]

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