China’s NPC scraps presidential term limit

Monday, 12 March 2018 03:22 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 87 times

China's parliament has scrapped presidential term limits, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely over the world's most populous country.
Out of 2,963 delegates at the annual session of the National People's Congress, 2,958 voted yes to changing the constitution on Sunday.
Three abstained and two voted against, the parliament announced.
The results were shown on a blue screen inside the cavernous Great Hall of the People. The delegates voted using paper ballots, which they filled out and dropped inside red ballot boxes.
The move reverses the era of "collective" leadership and orderly succession that was promoted by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to ensure stability following the turbulent one-man rule of Communist China's founder Mao Zedong.
Xi, 64, has consolidated power since taking office as general secretary of the Communist Party in 2012 - his most important title, which has no term limits but which his two predecessors both gave up after two terms.
He would have had to give up the presidency after the end of his second term in 2023, but he can now have a lifetime to push his vision of a rejuvenated China as a global powerhouse with a "world-class" military.
China enacted its first Constitution in 1954. The current Constitution was adopted in 1982 and amended in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004.
While the reform and opening-up drive, which began 40 years ago, has made amazing progress, it brought major changes to the country's Constitution, Xinhua reported.
From 1988 to 1999, amendments included reform of land-use rights, a legal status for the private economy, the theory of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, replacing the phrase "planned economy" with "socialist market economy," and incorporation of Deng Xiaoping Theory.
The most recent amendment in 2004 protected private property and human rights and gave the Theory of Three Represents constitutional authority.