Xi set to secure lifetime presidency


The leadership defended the move, with Xi telling a group of delegates from the southern province of Guangdong that the constitutional amendments reflected "the common will of the party and people".

Warm applause broke out in the Great Hall of People in Beijing on Sunday as China's Parliament overwhelmingly voted to end the two-term limit of the presidency. Although, a priori, such a concentration of power could facilitate introduction of draft economic reforms and cushion inevitable slowdown in China's growth in coming years, for time being re is no glimpse that this is direction it wants Take Xi Jinping at least if we rely on amendments to Chinese Constitution that have just been agreed.

Three abstained and two voted against, the parliament announced.

The National People's Congress' almost 3,000 hand-picked delegates endorsed the constitutional amendment, voting 2,958 in favor with two opposed, three abstaining and one vote invalidated.

The move has been met with an unusually high amount of criticism in China.

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 landslide approval vote has been a foregone conclusion since the proposal was made public two weeks ago.

This would make Xi the only leader after Mao and Deng Xiaoping whose thoughts were written into the Constitution.

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The move is widely seen as the culmination of Xi's efforts since being appointed leader of the party in 2012 to concentrate power in his own hands and defy norms of collective leadership established over the past two decades.

On the latest development, Chinese political commentator said, "I think that during the past 5 years, he has been trying a soft coup, including making the Politburo a mere figurehead".

But after Xi, 64, became president in 2013, he quickly consolidated power and swept away his opponents in a wide-ranging anti-corruption campaign.

The government has said lifting the term limits is about protecting the authority of the party with Xi at its center.

But those six were - like the lawyers, labour activists and human rights advocates who have questioned their country's direction under Mr. Xi in the past five years - swept away by the power of a Chinese president who has fashioned himself into a singular force of national leadership. The central committee had also proposed listing the National Supervisory Commission as a new organ in the Chinese Constitution.

Since the amendment to scrap presidential term limits also applies to the vice presidency, many analysts see growing signs of the hitherto ceremonial position going to one of Xi's most trusted lieutenants.

The Communist Party's dominance over all aspects of society has been Xi's aim for years, as outlined by his close ally, Wang Qishan, who used to head the feared anti-graft commission.

Even though his father Xi Zhongxun - a renowned revolutionary hero turned vice premier - was purged by Mao, Xi has remained true to the party that rules with an iron fist and over which he reigns supreme.