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Chinese Parliament passes amendment to allow Xi Jinping life-long presidency

The constitutional amendment removed the hurdle for 64-year-old Xi to become leader of China for life. He is currently in his second five-year term and was due to retire in 2023 under the old two-term system.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 11, 2018 13:40 IST ]
Chinese Parliament passes amendment to allow Xi Jinping
Image Source : PTI Chinese Parliament passes amendment to allow Xi Jinping life-long presidency

China's rubber-stamp parliament today amended the Constitution to remove decades-old two-term limit for the president, allowing current leader Xi Jinping to be the country's leader-for-life, AFP reported. 

Ahead of the vote by about 3,000 deputies in the National People's Congress (NPC) - China's legislature - on the amendment to remove the term limit for the President and Vice President, the seven member Standing Committee - the top most body of the ruling Communist Party of China - had unanimously approved the amendment. 

"Every one of us on the NPC Standing Committee approves and supports amending Constitution," Chairman of the NPC, Zhang Dejiang, said in his work report. 

The NPC regarded as the rubber stamp Parliament for its routine approval of CPC proposals is expected to approve it with overwhelming vote without a hitch. 

The term limits were being followed by the party leaders for over two decades to avert a dictatorship on the lines of party founder Chairman Mao Zedong and to ensure collective leadership in the one-party state. 

The constitutional amendment removed the hurdle for 64-year-old Xi to become leader of China for life. He is currently in his second five-year term and was due to retire in 2023 under the old two-term system.

Xi is already regarded as the most powerful leader of China after Mao 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 Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in the fundamental law.

 
This will make Xi the only leader after Mao and Deng Xiaoping whose thoughts were written into the Constitution. It would place him above the rest of the leaders of the party. 

The thoughts of two of Xi's predecessors were mentioned in the Constitution but not their names. 

The draft suggests Xi Jinping 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.  

(With inputs from agencies)

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