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On Wednesday, on an unexpected move, the entire Russian government resigned following President Vladimir Putin’s proposed constitutional reforms. The changes will see Putin hold onto power by extending his terms that are supposedly about to end.

Government resigns following Putin’s constitutional change proposals

Putin’s terms are expected to end in 2024, but like most authoritarian leaders, he is looking beyond. He wants to secure his position after 2024. His announcement of the changes during his state of the nation address led to the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev. Mikhail Mishustin, the head of Federal Tax Service, will now take over as prime minister.

The Russian president has been plotting to remain in power for years and has been built in the last 20 years as prime minister and president. To maintain his grip on power, Putin has proposed changes to the constitution that will weaken the presidency and incr4ease the sway of the prime minister and Parliament. For instance, he has indicated that in the future, the president will have to accept cabinet appointees of the prime minister. Such kind of changes will give Putin a leeway to find a way of holding onto power without abusing the constitution.

Putin could become prime minister again

Also, among the changes that he has proposed is to give power to the State Council, which is an advisory body that advises the president that currently doesn’t have any power. This is seen as a way of Putin maintaining power in the event he relinquishes the presidency, especially on foreign policy and the military.

It seems Putin is orchestrating his next move slowly in a manner that is unlikely to cause a backlash. Putin is no stranger to controversy after having completed his two consecutive terms in 2008 he became prime minister but also returned as president in 2011. He may likely want to become prime minister who will be powerful following the changes. Alternatively, he may put himself at the top of the State Council.