China's rubber-stamp legislature is all set to approve tomorrow constitutional changes abolishing a two-term limit for the president, paving the way for Xi Jinping to become the country's leader for life.
The constitutional amendment proposed by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is all set to be ratified by about 3,000 members of the National People's Congress (NPC), often referred to as the rubber stamp parliament for its routine endorsement of party proposals.
Ahead of the session of the NPC annual session, the CPC has proposed to remove the two-term limit for the president and vice-president.
The term limits were being followed by the party for over two decades to avert a dictatorship on the lines of party founder Mao Zedong and to ensure collective leadership in the one-party state.
The constitutional amendment will remove the hurdle for Xi, 64, to become China's leader-for-life. He is currently in his second five-year term and due to retire in 2023 under the current two-term system.
He is already regarded as the most powerful leader of China after Mao Zedong as he held the posts of head of the CPC, the military and the presidency which is mostly ceremonial.
The NPC was also expected to endorse another draft constitutional amendment to enshrine Xi's thought on socialism with chinese characteristics for a new era in the fundamental law.
This would ensure Xi's name written into the constitution making him on par with Mao.
The draft suggests Xi's thought be juxtaposed with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and the Theory of Three Represents as a new guiding theory in the preamble of the Constitution.
Scientific Outlook on Development is also proposed to be constitutionalised this time, according to the official media.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the sidelines of the NPC, Xi asked the officials to uphold rule of law, hold in awe of the Constitution, and exercise their duty within the boundaries of the Constitution and laws.
They were asked to abide by political rules, safeguard the authority and centralised and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee and absolutely implement the party's lines, principles and policies and decisions by the CPC Central Committee, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.