Russia to vote for new prime minister in Putin reshuffle

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. Putin has named Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin as Russia’s new prime minister Wednesday Jan. 15. The 53-year-old Mishustin has worked in the government since 1998, keeping a low profile while serving as the head of the Federal Tax Service since 2010. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — Lawmakers in Russia are set to vote on the appointment of a new prime minister Thursday, a day after President Vladimir Putin kicked off an unexpected reshuffle of his inner circle.

Mikhail Mishustin, the chief of Russia’s tax service, has already arrived at the Duma, the lower house of parliament, and is currently meeting with lawmakers. The Duma is widely expected to approve his appointment.

Mishustin, 53, would replace Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s longtime ally, who was Russia’s prime minister for the past eight years. Medvedev resigned Wednesday along with the whole Cabinet after Putin proposed sweeping changes to the constitution that could keep him in power well past the end of his term in 2024.

The president nominated Mishustin, who has been running Russia’s tax service for the past 10 years. Mishustin is credited with drastically modernizing the country’s tax administration system and is seen as a candidate who could bring about positive changes to the country’s economy, all the while dutifully carrying out the Kremlin’s wishes as he has no political ambitions.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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