Moscow (AFP) – The Russian government passed out on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin recommended that the constitution be revived, in a shock announcement that prompted speculation about Putin's future plans.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – for a long time resigned from Putin ally – after the annual launch of the nation's nationwide package to propose a package of constitutional reforms which would strengthen the role of parliament.
There has been speculation after changes to the Russian political system that would allow Putin to stay ahead after 2024, when he will go down after Kremlin's fourth term.
Some suggested that he could take a new job or stay in a powerful role behind the scenes.
Putin quickly named Mikhail Mishustin, one country's low tax service profile, rather Medvedev.
Medvedev and Putin had seen each other on national TV a few hours after Putin said the government was getting lower.
Medvedev said that the constitutional proposals would make significant changes to the country's balance of power and so “the government is in its current form after retirement”.
"The president will make every other decision," he said.
Putin thanked Medvedev – who had been Russia's president for four years since 2008 – and recommended that he take on the role of deputy head of the Russian Security Council, chaired by Putin's chairs.
'Claim for change'; –
The changes suggested by Putin Wednesday would like to move more authorities to parliament, including the power to select the prime minister and senior cabinet members, rather than the president as under the current system.
Other changes would result in enhanced role of regional governors and more intensive residency requirements for presidential candidates and other chief officers.
"Today in our society there is a clear demand for change," Putin said in his address. "People want to develop, they want to progress in their careers, in their education, and become more successful."
The reform package would have a national vote, but he said, without specifying the time.
"We will be able to build strong Russia with respect for public opinion only," the 67-year-old leader said of age.
Analysts said that Putin was laying the groundwork for possible changes to a system that has been in place since the early 1990s.
"Russia has taken its power transfer period ahead of schedule," said Tatiana Stanovaya, one of R.Politik's analytical firm.
She said that Putin seemed to be preparing for the powerful role of former presidents as head of the Council of State, an advisory body which would extend its powers under the constitutional amendments.
Medvedev was "toxic", she said, and she wanted to make a way for a new prime minister.
'Leader for life'; –
Alex Kurdlin's leader Alexei Navalny said he hoped that any vote on constitutional changes would be "fraudulent crap" and that Putin's goal was to be "a single leader for life".
Russia made a last referendum in 1993 when it adopted the constitution about Boris Yeltsin, the predecessor of Putin.
Putin has a strong grip on the country since he came to power to resign Yeltsin in 1999, staying as the prime minister when Medvedev took over the presidency.
Re-elected to a six-year term in 2018, Putin has approved its approved ratings to some of the lowest levels, although it is still significantly higher than the highest levels of Western leaders.
Recent Putin polls at 68-70 per cent, up to a few points from a year ago but down from a higher level of more than 80 per cent, added at the time of its final election.
Along with Western sanctions on the 2014 annex of Crimea, Russia's economy has been stagnant and most Russians have disposable income.
Frustrated frustration over last summer, and thousands going on Moscow streets to challenge opposition candidates from local elections, leading to large-scale arrests and long prison terms for some exhibitors.
The stage launch – delivered in Manezh's exhibition hall near the Kremlin – is one of Putin's three major annual events, along with a live marathon press conference and a live phone-in which takes questions from the Russian community.