Published: Mon, March 12, 2018

China scraps two-term limit, makes Xi President for life

China scraps two-term limit, makes Xi President for life

Officials have said the abolishment of the presidential term limits is aimed only at bringing the office of the president in line with Xi's other positions in the CCP and the Central Military Commission.

Voting will begin on Sunday afternoon.

The constitution had until now limited presidents to serving only two consecutive terms.

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

The two-term rule was incorporated in the Constitution to block accumulation of power as was seen in the excesses during the Cultural Revolution under Mao.

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".

The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post has quoted analysts as saying that the Chinese leadership wanted a more affirmative support from the Congress on Sunday, compared to the endorsement of the constitutional amendments on two previous amendments in 1999 and 2004.

The plans were announced about a month ago and yesterday the National People's Congress in Beijing, little more than a rubber stamp, gave its approval in a near-unanimous vote. Beyond concentration of power, it is hard to see a clear direction in use of it to carry out reforms that Chinese economy needs.

Another amendment passed by the lawmakers establishes a new body prosecuting corruption the National Supervision Commission. In China, it has won comparisons to "Eastern Depot", a secret police apparatus with vast powers used by Ming dynasty emperors to eliminate dissent.

Before the man had even finished speaking, he was taken away and then executed, according to the story, meant to underline the depth of societal control exerted by Eastern Depot.

Although it will share office space and personnel with the party's disciplinary arm - once headed by the 69-year-old Wang - the NSC can target anyone who exercises public authority, instead of just Communist Party members, providing Xi with further power to crush any political disloyalty.

But, he added, "there's no doubt that we will also severely punish corrupted people who refuse to restrain themselves and behave".

As well as the vote abolishing term limits, the parliament also backed other constitutional amendments including the insertion of Mr Xi's political theory - Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era - into the constitution and the establishment of a legal framework for a powerful new anti-corruption department.

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