ICC Note: Without any surprise, China’s National People’s Congress voted on March 11 to endorse proposed amendment to remove presidential term limits for Chinese President Xi Jinping. This means that Xi will not be constrained by the two-term limit and can rule for life. Already regarded as the most powerful leader after Mao Zedong, he continues to expect personal worship of him from Chinese citizens.
03/11/2018 China (CNN) – China’s largely ceremonial parliament on Sunday overwhelmingly endorsed a controversial change to the country’s constitution, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to stay in power indefinitely.
Inside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, nearly 3,000 delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC) cast their ballots on a series of proposed amendments — including removing the restriction that had limited the presidency to two consecutive five-year terms.
Out of 2,964 ballots, just two delegates voted against the move and three abstained, suggesting minimal opposition to Xi’s push to rule for life. The amendments’ passage required two thirds of the vote, which was a largely symbolic exercise.
The ruling Communist Party announced the proposals on February 25 and, amid a backlash in some quarters, has justified the change as a necessity to align the presidency with Xi’s two other, more powerful, posts — heads of the party and the military — that have no term limits.
The 64-year-old Xi, already hailed as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong, last week gave a ringing endorsement to the proposed constitutional changes, calling them a reflection of the “common will of the party and the people.”