[Editor’s Note: This is a surprising move by Putin. He is passing more power to Parliament and closer to the public’s hands in terms of who it elects to that body.
It’s what I would describe as a “democracy enhancement” evolution, being done now as he feels that the Russian Duma is mature enough, as are the voters who send them there.
They have trusted Putin, and now he trusts them to have the responsibility, as Russia has a firm standing even after its US friends in the 1990s who came over to “help it” looted the country of everything they could steal.
After the US puppet oligarchs had taken over Russian media and were on their way to taking over the government, Putin and his KGB cavalry came riding in to save the day or the US Deep State would effectively own Russia.
Notice at the end Putin seems to have carved out a semi-retirement position for himself as a potential head of the State Council, now a consultative body that Putin wants written into the Constitution.
The Council will also have wide representation, so Russian voters know they have a voice at the highest levels of government. We will have to see if the voters pass the changes, which they should as it gives them a Russian version of a senate, but an advisory one, not legislative, so it would not be in direct competition with the Duma… Jim W. Dean]
‘More powers, more responsibilities’: Putin proposes granting parliament power to choose PM & form government
First published … January 01, 2020
Under the current law, the president nominates the candidate for prime minister, who then must be approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma.
In his annual state-of-the-nation address on Wednesday, Putin proposed to change this by “allowing the State Duma not only to approve but to choose” the PM. Under his plan, the prime minister would then present parliament with the candidacies of the deputy prime ministers and government ministers, which the parliament would also confirm.
Putin stressed that the president will “not have the power” to reject any of the candidacies confirmed by the parliament.
“Taking the major responsibility for forming the government would also mean taking the major responsibility for its policies,” Putin said.
The proposed changes “pave the way for reformatting the system of power ahead of the 2024 presidential election,” political scientist and head of the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank Dmitry Trenin told RT.
“It’s clear that the new president cannot inherit Putin’s authority and influence. His constitutional powers will also be [more] limited,” he said.
The prime minister will become more significant, less dependent on the head of the state. The role of the parliament will also increase as its majority will decide who should form the cabinet and who will be its part.
Putin also proposed to have the existing consultative body, the State Council, written into the constitution. The council today is mainly made up of regional governors and aids the president in implementing his decisions.
“The State Council is being seen as a guarantor that the new power structure will work accordingly, instead of falling victim to internal struggles and in-fighting,” Trenin said, explaining that the reformed body will “secure stability” in Moscow, as well as in the regions.
The political scientist believes that Putin himself is likely to lead the State Council after his presidential term expires in 2024. “This way he will continue being the most influential state official and its highest authority,” Trenin suggested.
The changes require amending the Constitution, which Putin proposed to do through a public vote.