Russian Government Resigns As Putin Pitches Constitution Changes: Report

Moscow, Jan 15 (AFP): Russia’s government resigned in a shock announcement on Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin proposed a series of constitutional reforms.
In a televised meeting with the Russian president, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the proposals would make significant changes to the country’s balance of power and so “the government in its current form has resigned”.
“We should provide the president of our country with the possibility to take all the necessary measures” to carry out the changes, Medvedev said.
“All further decisions will be taken by the president.”
Putin asked Medvedev, his longtime ally, to continue as head of government until a new government has been appointed.
“I want to thank you for everything that has been done, to express satisfaction with the results that have been achieved,” Putin said.
“Not everything worked out, but everything never works out.”
He also proposed creating the post of deputy head of the Security Council, suggesting that Medvedev take on the position.
Earlier Wednesday Putin proposed a referendum on a package of reforms to Russia’s constitution that would strengthen the role of parliament.
The changes would include giving parliament the power to choose the prime minister and senior cabinet members, instead of the president as in the current system.