China clears way for Xi Jinping’s rule for life with constitutional amendment

Out of the total 2964 deputies of the National People's Congress who voted, only two put in a dissenting vote and three abstained in allowing president Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Beijing | Updated: March 12, 2018 10:44 am
Xi Jinping on China-Sri Lanka relations This will allow President Xi Jinping to continue as president indefinitely.

China’s parliament on Sunday amended the constitution to remove the limit on presidential terms. The amendment will allow President Xi Jinping, 64, who is seen as the most powerful Chinese leader in the post-Mao Zedong era, to keep power indefinitely.

The support to strike down the two term-limit was nearly unanimous.

The 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the national legislature, has a strength of 2,980 deputies. A total of 2,964 votes were cast in favour of the amendment while only two were against. Three members abstained from voting while one vote was invalid. The ballot was secret and those who cast the dissenting votes were not identified.

READ: Timeline of Xi Jinping’s rise as China’s leader-for-life

A constitutional change requires the approval of two-thirds or more of NPC deputies during the annual session.

Xi, who assumed office in March 2013 and began his second term in October 2017, received over 99.89 per cent of the total votes. Without the amendment Xi’s two term presidency would have ended in 2023.

The two-term limit for presidents had been enshrined in the Chinese Constitution in 1982 to ensure leaders do not occupy the top post indefinitely.

READ: China’s Amit Shah Wang Huning is behind the scenes as Xi Jinping becomes president for life

The Communist Party of China’s Central Committee had last month proposed to remove the limit on the terms of the President and Vice-President that prevented them from serving “no more than two consecutive terms”.

There had been consternation internationally and some muted criticism within China that Xi’s indefinite rule could push China towards one-man dictatorship.

The Chinese government rejected the apprehensions saying the amendment had the people’s support.

“This amendment when it was brought in was applauded twice by the members. Without political support and support of society this would not have happened. There is no problem with this amendment,” said 12th NPC Standing Committee’s Commission for Legislative Affairs Chairman Shen Chunyao.

The NPC cleared 21 other constitutional amendments including incorporating Xi’s political theory “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” into the country’s Constitution.

This was the first amendment to the country’s fundamental law in 14 years.

The current version of the Constitution was adopted during the 5th National People’s Congress on December 4, 1982.

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  1. James PJ
    Mar 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm
    Xi Jinping’s consecration as the “Emperor of China” is the logical culmination of the capitalist-road chartered by Deng Xiaoping almost three-and-a-half decades back, now reaching its most intensified stage of imperialist degeneration. By the turn of the first decade of the 21st century itself, China had become the second largest imperialist power run by one of the most powerful dictatorships of corporate finance capital under the aegis of a bureaucratic monopoly capitalism integrated with and camouflaged under the highly centralized party apparatus. The counterrevolution unleashed by Deng Co. almost four decades back systematically demolishing the self-reliant and self-sufficient communes has now reached a critical stage of corporate capital’s extreme concentration, the political manifestation of which is the centralization of the reins of party, military and the entire state apparatus in Xi, leading China to a critical period of chaos and crisis.
    1. S
      Mar 12, 2018 at 1:20 am
      Now our comrade Yechury should do the same and declare himself permanent general sec of CPM. Like islam, even commies are not compatible with democracy, but ally with each other whenever they have to fight civilized/democratic/native cultures.
      1. Prasun Goswami
        Mar 12, 2018 at 12:18 am
        The great Chinese civil war or revolt is coming. looking forward to see 7 pieces of china. Bharat maata ki jai.
        1. P
          Proud Bhakt
          Mar 11, 2018 at 11:05 pm
          We should also make Shri Modiji the Prime Minister and President for life , and do away with unnecessary expensive elections. Only Modiji can make India into a fully developed Nation .
          1. G
            Gram Massla
            Mar 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm
            Behold the Xi dynasty. Even the CCP has been rendered impotent. The world will next witness the theater of the succession which of Xi's children will be groomed to take over the empire
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