Xi Jinping Secures Lifetime Presidency in China

Though the passage of the constitutional amendment through a mandatory two-thirds majority is a foregone conclusion, the leadership of the Communist Party of the China (CPC), would try and avoid any show of serious dissent to the move.

Xi began his second five-year term as party chief in October. The delegates had voted 2,958 in favor, with two opposed, three abstaining and one vote invalidated.

Inside Beijing's Great Hall of the People, almost 3,000 delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) today cast their ballots on a series of proposed amendments - including removing the restriction that had limited the presidency to two consecutive five-year terms. To amend the constitution, out of total 2,963 lawmakers, 3 were not present during voting and only 2 voted against the constitution change proposal.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on January 9, 2018.

But with the new amendments, he could now have a lifetime to push his goal of turning China into a global economic powerhouse with a "world-class" military by mid-century.

This revision is the biggest change to the constitution in 36 years.

This will allow Xi Jinping to continue as president indefinitely.

China's plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office sets off an outcry online with bloggers drawing comparisons to North Korea's ruling dynasty and other dictators.

The final result of the National People's Congress vote to end constitutional term limits on the presidency. Although from both sides, many agreed they saw the proposal coming when Xi failed to present a potential candidate for the next presidency as per political tradition.

In addition to removing the term limits, the new constitution paves the way for the establishment of a new anti-graft super agency, the National Supervisory Commission.

"The confidence the Chinese people have in the people's congress system derives from their confidence in the strong leadership of the Party and in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics", he said.

The constitutional amendment will remove the hurdle for 64-year-old Xi to become leader of China for life. But the president is the only one with a formal limit of two terms - introduced by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982 to prevent another lifelong dictatorship after Mao's rule.

Xi JinPing had been due to step down in 2023 but during last October's Communist Party Congress he refused to anoint a successor.

At the same time, the Parliament was included in the Constitution of Thought XI Jinping, putting the current Chinese President is on a par with Mao Zedong.

The president's post is largely ceremonial while the real power rests with the CPC General Secretary and Chairman of the Military Commission, the overall high-command of the military.

They argue the rapid slide toward one-man rule fuels concerns that Beijing is eroding efforts to guard against the excesses of autocratic leadership and make economic regulation more stable and predictable.

Vanessa Coleman

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