MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin has engineered a surprise shakeup of Russia’s leadership and proposed changes to the constitution that could keep him in power well past the end of his term in 2024.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned his post after Putin announced the proposed constitutional amendments.
Putin kept his longtime ally in the Kremlin’s leadership structure, appointing him to the newly created post of deputy head of the presidential Security Council.
The president named the little-known head of Russia’s tax service to replace him.
The proposed amendments could herald Putin’s intention to carve out a political position that would let him stay at Russia’s helm.
Prominent opposition activist Alexei Navalny tweeted that Putin’s speech clearly signaled his desire to continue calling the shots even after his presidential term ends.
Putin suggested amending the constitution to allow lawmakers to name prime ministers and Cabinet members.
The Russian leader recently marked 20 years in power.