China National People’s Ogress (NPC) Sunday passed a constitutional amendment that removes the presidential term limit and allows incumbent President Xi Jinping to potentially remain in office indefinitely.
The measure was approved by nearly 3,000 delegates to NPC with an absolute majority with just two “no” votes and three abstentions.
China’s ruling party proposed the amendment to scrap term limits for presidency and vice-presidency last month.
“This is the urgent wish of the common people,” Ju Xiuqin, a delegate from northeastern Heilongjiang Province, told AFP, reiterating previous remarks by the party that the amendment had the unanimous support of the people.
“Xi Jinping has presided over so many important projects such as economic reforms and the fight against corruption. There was a consensus that we supported him having more time to finish his work,” said Dou Yanli, a delegate from eastern Shandong Province.”
The approval now potentially enables Xi to stay on as president well past the end of his second term in 2023, consolidating his authority as the most powerful Chinese leader since Communist China’s founder Mao Zedong.—Agencies