Russian PM and government resign, Putin puts forward new candidate

Dmitry Medvedev, right, said that the government he heads was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out constitutional changes. (Reuters)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Russian PM and government resign, Putin puts forward new candidate

  • Putin submitted Mikhail Mishustin’s candidacy to the parliament for approval
  • Putin proposes nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament

MOSCOW: Russia’s lower house of parliament said on Wednesday it would decide on whether to approve Mikhail Mishustin, the head of the Federal Tax Service, as Russia’s new prime minister on Thursday, the RIA news agency reported.
Putin submitted Mishustin’s candidacy to the parliament for approval after Russia’s government resigned unexpectedly. 

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that his government was resigning to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution.
The unexpected announcement, which came shortly after Putin proposed a nationwide vote on sweeping changes that would shift power from the presidency to parliament, means Russia will also get a new prime minister.
Medvedev made the announcement on state TV sitting next to Putin who thanked Medvedev, a close ally, for his work.
Putin said that Medvedev would take on a new job as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, which Putin chairs.
Putin asked for the outgoing government to remain at work until a new government was appointed.


HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

Updated 10 August 2020

HK media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under national security law

  • Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing

HONG KONG: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested over suspected collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, his top aide said on Twitter, in what is the highest-profile arrest yet under the legislation.
Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong on June 30, drawing condemnation from Western countries.
The new security law punishes anything China considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.
Critics say it crushes freedoms in the semiautonomous city, while supporters say it will bring stability after prolonged pro-democracy protests last year.
“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, which publishes local tabloid Apple Daily, said early on Monday.
Police did not immediately comment.
Lai was also arrested this year on illegal assembly charges, along with other leading activists, relating to protests last year.
In an interview with Reuters in May, Lai pledged to stay in Hong Kong and continue to fight for democracy even though he expected to be one of the targets of the new legislation.