Russian President Vladimir Putin in his 80-minute state-of-the-nation speech has proposed for landmark constitutional reform in the country, which political pundits believe will in the ensure he would remain in power after 2024.
Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev government en masse tendered their resignation claiming the move will clear the way for President Vladimir Putin to smoothly implement the proposed reforms.
Announcing his resignation, Medvedev said in a statement aired on Russian state television that Putin has proposed for several fundamental changes to the parliament, the articles of the constitution and also to the balance of power.
"In this context, it's obvious that we, as the government ... should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this. And in these conditions, I believe that it would be right, in accordance with Section 117 of the constitution," for the government to resign, Medvedev added.
The move to redistribute the power from the president to the prime minister and proposal to give the Russian parliament the power to select the prime minister and cabinet ministers is widely being seen as a move to set himself as a leader forever.
Putin has been holding power in Russia for more than 20 years. He is one of the longest-serving leaders in Russia, surpassed only by Josef Stalin.
Here are five ways the amendments proposed by Vladimir Putin will in due time establish him as the leader for life in Russia:
1. Currently in Russia, the president has the power to select the prime minister and cabinet ministers. But with the proposed amendments that power will be granted to the Parliament. Putin's term will end by 2024 but by taking the power from president and empowering the parliament, political pundits predict a power shift that in due time will benefit Putin.
2. There are speculations that the amendments will help Putin install himself on the speaker's chair in the parliament in the future.
3. It is possible that Putin may try to stay in power by shifting into the prime minister's seat.
4. Experts predict that the constitutional amendments give Putin a "wide-reaching" and "a broad corridor of possibilities for political maneuver."
5. It is not an exaggeration to say that Putin is bound to play a leading role in Duma or in the State Council, which is made up of regional governors.