Russian Government Quits As Vladimir Putin Proposes Plans To 'Stay In Charge For Life'

Graeme Demianyk
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with his Serbian counterpart in Sochi on December 4, 2019

Russia’s government has unexpectedly resigned after president Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping reforms that could allow him to stay in charge of the country after his presidency ends.

The changes mean Putin could end up taking over as prime minister when he is forced to step down as president in 2024.

The country’s current prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, announced he was on state TV while sitting next to Putin.

Medvedev is a long-time Putin ally who served as a placeholder president between 2008 and 2012 to allow him to observe term limits.

The constitutional shake-up proposed by Putin, 67, could allow him to rule in another capacity after his current term ends in 2024.

The plans shift power away from the president to parliament and the prime minister, and the move – if implemented – would add to speculation about Putin’s future plans.

Putin has remained at the helm for more than 20 years – longer than any other Russian or Soviet leader since Josef Stalin. 

“The only goal of Putin and his regime is to stay in charge for life, having the entire country as his personal asset and seizing its riches for himself and his friends."

Political analyst Kirill Rogov said Putin’s proposals indicate his intention to remain in charge while redistributing powers between various branches of government.

“Such a model resembling the Chinese one would allow Putin to stay at the helm indefinitely while encouraging rivalry between potential successors,” Rogov said on Facebook.

Alexei Navalny, the most prominent Russian opposition leader, tweeted that the president’s speech signalled Putin’s desire to continue calling the shots after his term ends.

“The only goal of Putin and his regime is to stay in charge for life, having the entire country as his personal asset and seizing its riches for himself and his friends,” Navalny alleged.

In his state of the nation address earlier in on Wednesday, Putin suggested amending the constitution to allow politicians to...

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