China's top law making body the National People’s Congress today passed with overwhelming majority an historic constitutional amendment striking down presidential term limits.
Radio Pakistan’s special correspondent Javed Khan Jadoon reports from Beijing that there was a limit of two consecutive presidential terms in the constitution introduced by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1982, abolished today.
Two thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight delegates voted in favour while three abstained and one vote was declared invalid. The amendment will allow President Xi Jinping to continue in office after his second term expires in 2023.
President Xi led the members of the Politburo Standing Committee into the Great Hall of the People to cast their votes. After the session formally opened, the deputies one by one rose from their seats to cast the vote. Ten minutes later, the process had ended and delegates were asked to return to their seats while the vote count started.
Results were announced and also flashed on big screens in the hall. The deputies thunderously applauded the outcome of the results.
The term limit has been abolished to make the office of the president in conformity with the other two top offices which president Xi holds. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and the Central Military Commission. These two offices do not have any term limit.
China has made remarkable progress under the leadership of president Xi in the last five years. China registered an economic growth rate of 7.1 percent on the average. Sixty-eight million people were lifted out of poverty and sixty-six million new urban jobs were created. China now has world’s largest middle- income group as a result of 7.4 percent growth in personal income of the people.