The Russian parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, has overwhelmingly voted to approve President Vladimir Putin’s nominee, Mikhail Mishustin, as the country’s new prime minister.

In the January 16 vote, broadcast live on state television, 383 lawmakers were in favor of Mishustin while 41 abstained.

Putin proposed the former chief of the Federal Tax Service to the post after Dmitry Medvedev’s government resigned a day earlier following Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address.

In that address, Putin called for a referendum on substantial constitutional amendments that he said would strengthen parliament’s powers.

The surprise constitutional shakeup could also help keep Putin, who has ruled Russia for more than two decades, in power beyond the end of his term in 2024.

Source: Radio Free Europe