BEIJING — China’s parliament has passed a historic constitutional amendment on Sunday abolishing presidential term limits that will enable President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.
The announcement of the vote, witnessed by reporters in the Great Hall of the People, passed with just two ‘no’ votes and three abstentions among almost 3,000 delegates.
China’s ruling Communist Party proposed the amendment last month and there was never any doubt it would pass as parliament is packed with loyal party members who would not have opposed the proposal.
The National People’s Congress’ about 3,000 hand-picked delegates endorsed the constitutional amendment, voting 2,958 in favor with two opposed, three abstaining and one vote invalidated,, according to South China Morning Post.
But the extremely high approval rate, nevertheless, gives the controversial move a veneer of universal support within the establishment; despite criticism at home and abroad.
The two-term limit on the presidency was introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1982 after Mao’s death in 1976. And, this revision is the biggest change to the constitution in 36 years.
President Xi Jinping began his second five-year term as party chief in October and at the end of the week will be formally appointed by parliament.
Xi, 64, has consolidated power since taking office as general secretary of the Communist Party in 2012.
He would have had to give up the presidency after the end of his second term in 2023, but he now have a lifetime to push his vision of making China a global powerhouse with a ‘world-class’ military.
With Agency InputsFollow @gorkhapost
32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say
JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.
Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.
Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.
“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.
Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.Follow @gorkhapost