Putin proposes Federal Tax Service head Mishustin as next Prime Minister

Putin proposes Federal Tax Service head Mishustin as next Prime Minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested the head of Federal Tax Service as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister after the government resigned earlier today, RT reports.

Putin has met with Mishustin and offered him the PM's position which he accepted, the Kremlin said.

Mishustin went to the State Duma straight from the Kremlin for an extraordinary meeting of the Parliament’s Council, which includes the speaker and the heads of the factions. 

During the meeting, it was agreed that the MPs will decide on the nominee for prime minister on Thursday.

Mikhail Mishustin, 53, holds Ph.D. in economics and had a long career as a government official with some breaks for running his own business a decade ago. He was heading Russia's Tax Service since 2010.

Mishustin’s work as tax boss has been praised not only at home, but also in the West. Last year, the Financial Times said that he created the “future of tax administration” in Russia by introducing a real-time digitalized system, which enabled them to expose errors and fraud while also significantly raising revenues for the state.

Outgoing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev offered his resignation after Putin’s annual state of the nation address, in which the President suggested several key amendments to the Russian Constitution.  

The changes included expanding the powers of parliament, so that it could not only approve but nominate the prime minister, with the president being unable to reject the MPs’ choice. The Duma also vote on other key government officials, selected by the PM for his cabinet.

The amendments will bring “significant change… to the balance of power” in Russia after they go into force, Medvedev said, explaining his decision. In view of this, the government should resign to “provide the president with a capability to make all decisions,” he said.