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Russian PM and government resign over proposed changes to the constitution

Russian PM and government resign over proposed changes to the constitution

The whole of the Russian government, including the country's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, has resigned.

The surprising move came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed significant changes to the constitution while delivering his annual state-of-the-nation address.

Proposals made by President Putin could see a shift in the balance of power. In particular, the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament would be granted the power to appoint the prime minister and members of the cabinet, whereas this is currently done by the President. Mr Putin also argued that the President should retain the right to dismiss the PM and their cabinet ministers.

Any changes to the constitution must be put to a national vote, according to Mr Putin. 

President Putin has accepted the resignations but has asked the ministers to remain in a caretaker government until a new government can be formed.

Mr Medvedev is to be appointed as deputy head of the presidential Security Council. He served as President of Russia between 2008 & 2012 and has been Prime Minister ever since.

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