Russian MPs confirm Mikhail Mishustin as new prime minister after cabinet resignation

Mikhail Mishustin delivers a speech during a session of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia January 16, 2020 © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev / Free

Mikhail Mishustin has been ratified as next Prime Minister of Russia by MPs, after the cabinet resigned on Wednesday. Vladimir Putin had earlier proposed Mishustin, formerly head of the Federal Tax Service, as a candidate.

In an overwhelming vote on Thursday, 383 lawmakers supported Mishustin’s candidacy. Not a single MP cast their vote against the Prime Minister, but 41 MPs — members of Russia’s Communist Party — chose to abstain, RIA Novosti reported.

Later in the day, Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree appointing Mishustin Prime Minister. He will now have to suggest his picks for ministers and deputy Prime Ministers, as set out in the Constitution.

The Prime Minister didn’t go into detail about this. “I think that an understanding [of who to propose] will arise in the coming days, we consulted with all the factions today,” he revealed. The list of future ministers will be pitched to the President “in the near future.”

Mishustin has already promised a major cabinet reshuffle, meaning that some fresh faces could emerge as new ministers. The incoming government must hold personal responsibility for the decisions they take to help economy grow, Mishustin told MPs ahead of the confirmation vote.

The first thing to do is to seriously engage in institutional and management reform, and, of course, bring in the most advanced information technologies.

To Mishustin, there are enough resources out there to achieve goals set by the President: “We have a fairly stable [economic] situation … we do have inflation but I think it will not exceed 4 percent, this is obvious.”

Mishustin was suggested by President Putin as a replacement of the long-time premier Dmitry Medvedev, who has been offered a position of deputy chief of Russia’s Security Council.

The 53-year-old politician has worked in government since 1998 and has been described as a low-profile technocrat who managed to propel Russia’s tax service to remarkable efficiency.

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