Reshuffle in Russian government following announcement of constitutional change

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Publication Date 2020
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Reports and analyses relating to proposed constitutional amendments put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin in early 2020, followed by the resignation of the country's government including the Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on 15 January 2020 - during his State of the Nation address - a set of proposals to amend the country's Constitution when it comes to the powers and mandates of the power structure in Russia, including the his own office. The amendments include the limitation of two terms in office for any future President, tightening residency requirements for presidential candidates, and letting Parliament choose candidates for Prime Minister and the cabinet - effectively weakening the presidential office. Mr Putin stated these amendments were a significant change to the country's Constitution, and suggested holding a nationwide referendum on the changes.

Soon after Mr Putin's statements, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev handed in the cabinet's full resignation and announced he would not stand again to lead the government. He was later appointed as the deputy chairman of Russian's Security Council. Media sources reported that the cabinet was left in the dark over Mr Putin's proposed amendments. Mikhail Mishustin - the Head of the Federal Tax Service - was later put forward as the proposed new Prime Minister.

Mr Putin allowed himself to be "persuaded" by deputies of his parliament, the State Duma, that a total reset of the count of presidential terms (he is currently serving his fourth — until 2024) would be good for Russia's stability. This means that he can be reelected for another two terms and stay in the Kremlin until he turns 84 in 2036. The proposal was made by the world's first female cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova, a person universally respected by Russians.

Russia's lower house of parliament approved a range of amendments to the constitution on Wednesday, including a law that allows President Vladimir Putin to seek reelection after his current term ends in 2024.

House Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters that 383 lawmakers voted in favor, 43 abstained, and none voted against. Putin's party dominates  the Duma.


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Commentary and Analysis
BBC News, 15/01/2020: What is Russia's Putin up to?
Deutsche Welle, 15/01/2020: Putin sets out path to power beyond 2024
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OSW: Analyses, 15/01/2020: Putin’s address and the government’s resignation: the start of the succession process in Russia
Politico, 15/01/2020: How Putin plans to stay on
Human Rights Watch: Dispatches, 16/01/2020: Why Legal ‘Innovation’ Might be Bad News for Rights in Russia
France24, 16/01/2020: Mikhail Mishustin: the unknown tax chief surprisingly promoted to Russian PM by Putin
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 16/01/2020: What Putin's Constitutional Shakeup Means
New Statesman, 16/01/2020: Why did the entire Russian government just resign?
BBC News, 16/01/2020: What Putin's plans mean for Russia
The Guardian: Editorial, 16/01/2020: The Guardian view on Putin and power: he’s not going anywhere
Council on Foreign Relations: In Brief, 16/01/2020: What to Expect From Putin’s Shake-Up
Deutsche Welle, 16/01/2020: Who is Mikhail Mishustin — Russia's next prime minister?
The Moscow Times, 16/01/2020: What Changes Is Putin Planning for Russia’s Constitution?
Foreign Policy, 16/01/2020: Who Is Russia’s New Prime Minister?
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 16/01/2020: Planning for a (Not-So) Post-Putin Russia
Bloomberg, 17/01/2020: Putin the Puppet Master Shows He Retains the Power to Shock
The Conversation, 17/01/2020: Russia’s constitutional changes are designed to perpetuate power of Vladimir Putin’s elite
Foreign Policy, 17/01/2020: Putin Is Planning a Partial Retirement
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 17/01/2020: Did Putin Just Appoint Himself President for Life?
OSW: Analyses, 17/01/2020: Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s new Prime Minister
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 20/01/2020: Russia Prepares for New Tandemocracy
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 21/01/2020: Enter Mishustin: The New Russian Prime Minister’s Agenda
The Conversation, 22/01/2020: Vladimir Putin has grown into a Russian hero – so where does he go from here?
OSW: Analyses, 22/01/2020: Russia’s new government: managers of a transitional period?
The Independent, 23/01/2020: Is Putin in a hurry to leave? Russian parliament rushes through constitutional shake-up
Deutsche Welle, 23/01/2020: Putin's bespoke government — made for indefinite control
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 23/01/2020: Russia’s New Government Is Its Least Political Yet
Politico, 29/01/2020: Who will replace Putin?
Carnegie Moscow Center: Commentary, 30/01/2020: Why Aren’t Russians Protesting Putin’s Reforms?
EPRS: At a Glance, 07/02/2020: Constitutional and political change in Russia
Spiegel Online International, 20/02/2020: How Russia’s President Is Preparing His Own Succession
Deutsche Welle, 10/03/2020: Opinion: Putin's Pushkin-like play to lead Russia till 2036

Sputnik News: Topics: Russian Government Reshuffle 2020
BBC News, 15/01/2020: Russian government resigns as Vladimir Putin plans future
The Guardian, 15/01/2020: Russian government quits as Putin plans to stay in power past 2024
France24, 15/01/2020: Duma to review Putin PM appointee Mishustin on heels of Medvedev's resignation
Deutsche Welle, 15/01/2020: Russia: Putin proposes more powers for parliament
EurActiv, 15/01/2020: Russian prime minister and government resign after Putin speech
RFE/RL, 15/01/2020: Putin Nominates Ex-Tax Chief Mikhail Mishustin As New Russian Prime Minister
Politico, 15/01/2020: Russian government resigns after Putin proposes constitutional shake-up
The Guardian, 16/01/2020: Putin's ministers were not told of resignation plans in advance
EurActiv, 16/01/2020: Russia’s ruling party approves Putin’s pick Mishustin for new PM
RFE/RL, 16/01/2020: With Sweeping Constitutional Changes, Analysts Say Putin Eyeing New Role At Russia's Helm
Deutsche Welle, 16/01/2020: Russian parliament approves Mikhail Mishustin as new prime minister
Deutsche Welle, 21/01/2020: Russia: Putin announces new Cabinet after prime minister resigns
Deutsche Welle, 23/01/2020: Russian parliament fast-tracks Putin's constitutional changes
Reuters, 23/01/2020: Putin's political shake-up backed by Russian parliament in initial vote
Associated Press, 13/02/2020: Ideas for amending Russian Constitution aired for Putin
The Guardian, 10/03/2020: Putin backs proposal allowing him to remain in power in Russia beyond 2024
The Guardian, 10/03/2020: What does the prospect of perpetual Putin mean for Russia's future?
France 24, 10/03/2020: Russia deputies to vote on Putin's constitutional reform
Politico, 10/03/2020: Vladimir Putin, president until 2036?
Deutsche Welle, 10/03/2020: Vladimir Putin opens door to stay on as Russia's president
Deutsche Welle, 11/03/2020: Russia's Duma passes reforms allowing Putin to seek re-election
The Conversation, 11/03/2020: Putin for life? Many Russians may desire leadership change, but don’t see a viable alternative

Russian President: Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, 15 January 2020

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