Power addicts: Xi to lead China indefinitely

Even if you leave the beguiling question of how one person can hold such sway in a nation of almost 1.4bn people, the weekend decision by China’s ruling Communist Party to set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely is another example of how addictive absolute power can be. The Central Committee also proposed inserting “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” into their country’s constitution.

Mr Xi is by no means alone in his appetite for power — in less than a month, Russia will hold a charade election and even before a vote is counted it is unimaginable that the contemporary tsar Vladimir Putin will not be reflected, continuing an unquestioned a reign that began when he became president in 2000.

Any comparison of the power enjoyed by Xi or Putin and the power entrusted to our exemplary President Michael D Higgins is facile, but the strengthening impression that Mr Higgins may seek a second term in Áras an Uachtaráin suggests that they do have something in common.


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