The Russian government headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is resigning following calls by President Vladimir Putin to amend the constitution.
The decision comes after Putin delivered a televised speech earlier Wednesday proposing sweeping changes to the Russian constitution that would limit, impose a two-term limit on future presidents and allow parliament instead of the president to choose the prime minister, moves that limit the power of the next president.
Putin’s shakeup sent shock waves through Russia’s political elites, who were left pondering what his intentions were and speculating about future cabinet appointments.
Putin presented his amendments to the constitution as a significant change to Russia’s governing document, and called for the first nationwide referendum since 1993 to confirm them. An elections official said within an hour of Putin’s speech that a referendum could be prepared as soon as the proposals to amend the constitution were formalised.