Speaking to a working group created to draft constitutional changes, Putin cast his proposals as a way to strengthen parliament and to bolster democracy. Kremlin critics described the proposed changes as an attempt by Putin to secure his rule for life.
The Russian leader proposed the sweeping amendments to the country's constitution in Wednesday's state of the nation address. Hours later, he fired Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who had the job for eight years, and named tax chief Mikhail Mishustin to succeed him.
The Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma, quickly approved Mishustin in a unanimous vote Thursday.
The reshuffle has shaken Russia's political elites, who were left wildly speculating about Putin's intentions and future Cabinet appointments.