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China’s parliament passes historic constitutional amendment

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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.

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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 Inputs

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Lightning strike kills woman in Saptari

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RAJBIRAJ — A woman was killed when lightning struck her in the field at Bishnupur Rural Municipality-6 in Saptari district on Saturday evening.

The victim is 50-year-old Keshari Devi Yadav, wife of Shailendra Kumar Yadav, Superintendent of Police Mukesh Kumar Singh said. She was struck by thunderbolt while picking up lentils in the field.

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Another woman, Rinku Yadav who had gone together with Keshari to harvest lentil, has been injured in the incident. She is being treated at the Gajendra Narayan Singh Sagarmatha Zone Hospital at Rajbiraj.

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