Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the Federal Assembly on Wednesday and proposed constitutional reforms that would weaken the next President of Russia, causing the entire Russian government to resign. Putin also addressed the country’s changing demographics and social issues such as supporting working families.
It is speculated that the changes are being made to prepare for Putin’s transition to the role of Prime Minster after his term limit is up. In 2008 Putin made the same move, serving as Prime Minister under then-President, and current Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.
Following the announcement of the reforms, Medvedev announced the resignation of the government by stating, “In this context, it’s obvious that we, as the government … should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this. And in these conditions, I believe that it would be right … to resign.”
Putin stated that he shares the view that no president should be able to serve more than two consecutive terms, he also suggested restrictions on the presidency where one would have to have lived in Russia for at least 25 consecutive years and have never held a foreign citizenship or residence permit.
Putin stated that “the Federal Assembly is ready to take more responsibility for forming the Government.” Currently, the President appoints the Prime Minster with the consent of the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly. Then the President appoints the cabinet head and its members. The proposed change would allow the State Duma to appoint the Prime Minister and that Prime Minister to appoint the rest of the cabinet, subject to approval by the State Duma. The President will have no right to disapprove of these candidates.
Putin ended his speech by stating, “This will increase the role and importance of the State Duma and parliamentary parties as well as the independence and responsibility of the Prime Minister.”