In a stunning development out of Russia, it was reported Wednesday that the entirety of its government has resigned, en masse, on the heels of a state-of-the-nation address delivered by President Vladimir Putin in which he proposed rules that would extend his political power.
According to CNN, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the shocking news, citing disagreement with proposals put forth by Putin that would essentially extend his long-reign of power over the country, even well beyond his presidency.
While thanking members of the Russian government, Putin said that “not everything worked out.” The point of contention apparently came as Putin introduced the idea of constitutional amendments that would reduce the power of the presidency and give much greater power to Russian parliament and the prime minister of the country.
Putin’s term as Russia’s president is set to end in the year 2024 and many have speculated that he would eventually unveil a plan to increase the power of the prime minister position, as he is likely to make a play for the position after his term as president ends.
Putin already made a similar move in 2008, when he essentially swapped positions with the country’s prime minister at the time to exploit a loophole that doesn’t allow more than two consecutive terms as president.
Medvedev explained on Wednesday that Putin “outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution, significant changes not only to a number of articles of the constitution, but also to the balance of power as a whole.”
The details of the various changes in power are complex, however, Russian opposition leaders accused Putin of simply wanting to stay in power for as long as possible.
Putin wants to be “the sole leader for life, taking ownership of an entire country, and appropriating wealth to himself and his friends,” said opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“All those who said that Putin will step away from power in 2024 are such idiots (and/or crooks),” he added in a tweet.