Russian PM and Cabinet resigns, Putin power push?

RNZ: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigns

Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally put forward Mikhail Mishustin, the little-known head of Russia’s Federal Tax Service, to be Russia’s new prime minister, the Kremlin said.

Putin gets to choose who Russia’s Prime Minister is?

It came after Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his government was resigning to give Putin room to carry out changes to the constitution.

And Putin gets to decide on what changes can be made to the Russian constitution?

The unexpected resignation, which came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament, mean Russia would also get a new prime minister.

Wednesday’s changes will be seen by many as the start of Putin’s preparations for his own political future when he leaves the presidency in 2024.

Whoever he picks as prime minister will inevitably be viewed as a possible presidential successor – echoing the way that Putin stepped down from the presidency in 2008 to become prime minister under Medvedev, who then stepped aside four years later to allow Putin to resume the presidency.

Reuters: Putin unveils shake-up that could extend his influence as cabinet quits

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes on Wednesday that would give him leeway to extend his grip on power after leaving the presidency, and picked a new prime minister after Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet resigned.

The dramatic moves were widely seen as preparing the ground for 2024, when Putin, now 67, is constitutionally obliged to leave the presidency after occupying the Kremlin or the prime minister’s job continuously since 1999.

Critics have long accused Putin of plotting to stay on in some capacity to wield power over the world’s largest nation – and one of its two biggest nuclear powers – after he steps down. Putin, a former KGB officer, has always kept mum on his plans.

But the constitutional changes he set out, which he suggested should be put to a referendum, would give him the option of taking an enhanced role as prime minister after 2024 or a new role as head of the State Council, an official body he said he was keen to build up.

Under his proposed constitutional changes, the powers of the presidency would be diminished and those of the prime minister’s office beefed up.

Opposition politician Leonid Volkov said it looked as though Putin was digging in.

“It’s clear to everyone that everything is going exclusively toward setting Putin up to rule for life,” Volkov wrote on social media. Dmitry Gudkov, another opposition politician, said Putin had decided to re-arrange everything around him now rather than wait until closer to 2024.

Putin told the political elite in his annual state-of-the-nation speech that he favored changing the constitution to hand the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, the power to choose the prime minister and other key positions.

“It would increase the role and significance of the country’s parliament … of parliamentary parties, and the independence and responsibility of the prime minister.”

And it could increase the future power of Putin, designed by himself.

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26 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  16th January 2020

    Russia and its Tsars. Does Putin have children?

    Reply
    • See the above tweet – he wants more children. Or at least more Russian children.

      But he does have two daughters of his own, officially at least.

      On 28 July 1983, Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva, and they lived together in East Germany from 1985 to 1990. They have two daughters, Mariya Putina, born 28 April 1985 in Leningrad, and Yekaterina Putina, born 31 August 1986 in Dresden, East Germany.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin#Family

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th January 2020

        That’s a worry then. Russia needs to know where its next Tsar is coming from.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th January 2020

          He’s been there longer than some tsars were.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  16th January 2020

            Yep. Russians seem to like that. They were a nation of serfs, not shopkeepers. Their revolution was a disaster, not a release. Probably they never had it so good as under Putin.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  16th January 2020

              I knew a lot of old Russians who had fled religious persecution but who still had nostalgia for the regime of Stalin; the regime that was the reason for them, as Orthodox, fleeing Russia.

  3. Duker

     /  16th January 2020

    “Putin gets to choose who Russia’s Prime Minister is?”

    Whats wrong with that , surely you know how their system works , which is much like the French, where the current President Macron gets to choose who the PM is
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/15/emmanuel-macron-names-edouard-philippe-as-french-prime-minister

    And why not propose changes to Constitution, thats how it works in our near neighbour too, with the government ‘proposing’ changes that are put the vote

    It helps to know how a political system works before pulling holes in it

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  16th January 2020

    Trump will be keenly looking on seeing how Putin consolidates and grows his position of power. The little cogs will be whirring, working feverishly, imagining how he can achieve the same. The bit about boosting the birth rate? He’s doing his best already some reckon. More than a few say DJT is effing America.🙃

    Reply
  5. Duker

     /  16th January 2020

    This about a rally and speech by Trump
    “Donald Trump gave yet another unhinged rally speech on Tuesday night, and how did the media cover it? By normalizing Trump, with NPR calling the speech “wide-ranging” rather than, say, “incoherent, disjointed, filled with lies, and abusive.” According to The New York Times, it’s a “standard, rambling stump speech, which combines inflated boasts about his record, rosy memories about his 2016 victory and grievances about the way he has been treated by Democrats.”

    But that is glossed over version, as usual the NEVER tell their readers what he really says
    “During the speech, Trump “joked” about running for president again in 10 years, because ha ha it’s funny to talk openly about fulfilling your dreams of being a dictator and your disdain for the constitution. He went on yet another rant about appliances he has obviously never used, like dishwashers. He again claimed that energy-efficient light bulbs make people look orange, a convenient claim for him personally.”
    If Biden or Warren or Sanders were to say stuff that was even close as a litany of lies the media would be all over what they ‘really said’ and who they werent fit to even ‘run’ for President.
    The real Donald Trump is not that much different to Putin, but one gets ordinary situations for Putin are twisted into sinister, while Trumps incoherent rants are normalised.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/1/15/1911722/-The-media-keeps-refusing-to-show-us-Donald-Trump-as-he-really-is-and-it-s-dangerous

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th January 2020

      Surely if they broadcast his speeches they are showing him as he really is all the time?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  16th January 2020

        No the point is they just gloss over what we really says with phrases like ‘wide ranging’ instead of key phrases

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th January 2020

          Surely the point is that he is giving these speeches in large venues where all the people listening are indeed seeing him as he really is.

          It is those reading the incessant mocking of him by the media hand in glove with his political opponents who are not. It is so easy to put his tongue in cheek comments into print as serious statements to be attacked.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  16th January 2020

            “Tongue in cheek” ….are you paraphrasing because at least the front part of your brain( reasoning ) knows hes an absurd clown who doesnt have a clue, while the more dominant rear part of your brain ( rat cunning) doesnt care one bit.
            There isnt a tongue in cheek Trump at the rallyes and a reasoning one back in the office. He says it because he believes it

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th January 2020

              As I just said at Kiwiblog:

              Trump pacified North Korea without firing a shot, stopped the refugee deluge crossing Mexico, neutralised Iran by firing two shots, sorted China’s trade perversions with his tariffs, reduced unemployment and increased wages – and idiots still think he doesn’t know what he is doing.

            • Duker

               /  16th January 2020

              Pacified North Korea ? he got nothing out of 2 summits…but every one told him that
              Stopped the ‘refugee’ deluge crossing from mexico. …without a wall , who would have guessed…. but I dont think you know what ‘refugee’ really means in this context
              Formal refugee intakes have dropped from 100k to 30k per year ..thats just those that have a refugee visa. Another 25k are asylum seekers who arrive at airports. In 1993 it was 143k. What Trump aslo has done has bumped up the Christian refugee visas from just under half to 80%

              Crossing from mexico , pray tell how they kept count before Trump and count now , truth is no one knows as most were ‘illegals’ for a reason or ‘undocumented’ migrants

              Trade with China ? Who knows what it means as its only just been signed and in practice the Chinese will ignore any requirements that have to undertake , like they always do. Trump doesnt change that.

  6. seer

     /  16th January 2020

    Ah, the ignorance is deep. (Fortunately our Foreign Minister is a lot smarter than a few here.)
    Read and (hopefully) learn.
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/the-russian-prime-minister-resigns-and-no-one-knows-why.html#comments
    https://www.sott.net/article/427096-Now-twenty-years-later-how-did-Putin-do-it

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th January 2020

      The first article had unreadable formatting for a small screen. The second is excellent. As I suggested, Russians have probably never had it so good as under Putin.

      Reply
      • seer

         /  16th January 2020

        Somehow Moon of Alabama’s formatting gets stuffed up regularly by the misformatting of links by commenters. It gets fixed at some point. Never a problem with a pc and firefox.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th January 2020

          Still pretty unreadable on a pc until copy/pasted into Word so it gets a sane width. Got much more out of the sott.net article though.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  16th January 2020

            MoA gives a good background to another ‘russian angle’ we have heard about ad nauseum

            “These were the “Russian influence ads” on Facebook the U.S. media were so enraged about.
            The reality was different
            ‘The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not part of a political influence op.

            One builds pages with “hot” stuff that hopefully attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One attracts viewers and promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them. The mini-ads are targeted at the most susceptible groups.
            A few thousand users will come and look at such pages. Some will ‘like’ the puppy pictures or the rant for or against LGBT and further spread them. Some will click the Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scaleable and parts of it can be automatized.”
            https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

            Even if it was really half the political angle they said it was ( but wasnt) the sheer scale of US candidates ( of all kinds) advertising blitzs during elections would be a tsunami scale compared to ‘outsiders’

            Reply
  7. seer

     /  16th January 2020

    Pete, remember VV Putin’s quip when he sat down behind his presidential desk after he was reelected?
    “I might just stay here till I’m 100!”

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th January 2020

      Funny you should mention it , Trump was saying just the other day he wanted to stay as President for another 10 years

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th January 2020

        And you still can’t tell when his tongue is in his cheek? I guess that’s because most Lefties have no sense of humour.

        Reply
  1. Russian PM and Cabinet resigns, Putin power push? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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