President Xi Jinping of China has been voted in to stay on as president for life.
China voted yesterday to change its constitution and remove the two-term limit on the presidency. These changes were made by the annual sitting of parliament, the National People’s Congress, which has over 3000 members.
The vote was considered a rubber-stamping exercise. Out of 2,964 votes, only two delegates voted against the change, and three renounced.
China’s two-term limit has been in place since the 1990s.
Xi Jinping would have been due to step down in 2023, but now will be China’s president for the rest of his life. This change opposes the long-standing tradition of presenting a potential successor during the Communist Party Congress in October.
Xi Jinping has become increasingly popular since he took office in 2013, and has helped China become a major player in global politics. Some consider this a step back in history since only emperors and former leader Mao Zedong ruled for their lifetime.
Xi Jinping’s supporters applaud him for fighting corruption, while critics say that surveillance and censorship have increased while he has been in power.
The public was blocked from talking about the outcome of the vote on the internet, so people used Winnie the Pooh memes to represent the president.