Duma approves Mikhail Mishustin as new Russian premier

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, chose Mikhail Mishustin as the prime minister at a parliamentary vote on Thursday.

The lawmakers voted 423/383 with 40 abstentions in favor of Mishustin.

The Russian government resigned Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin proposed constitutional changes.

Putin offered Mishustin, the former head of Russia's tax service, the position at a meeting.

The president is eyeing limitations on future heads of state, including downgrading the maximum number of terms to two and imposing the condition of permanent residency in Russia for at least 25 years.

He is also suggesting to prohibit foreign citizenship and residence permits for senior Russian officials and to give the parliament the right of appointing prime ministers and the Cabinet.