Russian Premier resigns as Putin calls for constitutional overhaul


Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia abruptly resigned on Wednesday, shortly after his political patron, President Vladimir V. Putin, sent the country’s political elite into a swirl with proposals for sweeping constitutional changes that could extend his hold on power for many years.

Mr. Medvedev’s cabinet also resigned.

In a statement issued by the Russian news agency Tass, Mr. Medvedev, a lawyer who has known Mr. Putin since they worked together in St. Petersburg in the 1990s, linked the unexpected resignations to an overhaul put forward earlier on Wednesday by Mr. Putin.

Mr. Putin, who under current law must step down in 2024, proposed amending the Russian Constitution to expand the powers of Parliament and a body called the State Council, which currently carries little weight.

Mr. Medvedev said those moves would “introduce significant changes” to “the balance of power” between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Mr. Putin named him as deputy head of the Kremlin Security Council, a powerful body that includes defense and security officials. (nytimes)



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