Democracy and politics in Taiwan

Is Taiwan a democracy?

Yes, Taiwan is a democracy since 1987 and is one of the most liberal and democratic country in all of South East Asia.

History & background of Politics in Taiwan

The Republic of China’s constitution was already in place in 1947 however Taiwan has not been been a Democracy since then. It was not until 1987 when martial law was lifted before it came into effect.

Since then multiple large revisions have been implemented 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000 and the latest in 2005 to make the constitution relevant to current state of the country.

Political system of Taiwan

The constitution of Taiwan is based on the three principles of the People: The ROC shall be a democratic republic of the people, governed by the people and for the people.

Levels of government

There are 2 levels of government: Central and local government. Central government governs the country, while local government lead regional development.

Central government

The central government of Taiwan has five major Branches, also referred to as Yuans

  1. Executive Yuan, formulates and implements policies
  2. Legislative Yuan, Reviews and enacts legislation, conducts hearings on policy and examines budgetary bills and government operations
  3. Examination Yuan, Manages the civil service system
  4. Judicial Yuan, oversees the nations court system
  5. Control Yuan, impeaches and censures officials, audits government agencies.

Local government

The local government play an important role in regional development and consists of the following regions:

There are 6 so called special municipalities, these are the large cities so important they fall under direct jurisdiction of the central government (For ex, Taipei, Kaohsiung ). Then there are 13 counties, including Kinmen and Lienchiang county and 3 autonomous municipalities.

The president of Taiwan

The president is head of state as well as commander in chief of the armed forces. The president represents the nation with foreign relations and has the power to appoint heads of the four branches of the government. In return the president must report to the legislative yuan.

First of all he or she appoints the Executive Yuan. The Executive Yuan consists of 14 ministries, 8 councils, 3 independent agencies and 4 other organizations. The ministers leading the ministries, basically the Cabinet are appointed and led by the president.

The president of Taiwan also is allowed to appoint the members of the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan, as well as justices of the Judicial Yuan, however this must be confirmed by the legislative yuan.

Lawmakers elect the president of the Legislative Yuan, or speaker, from their own organization.

How does elections work in Taiwan ?

The president and Vice-president of Taiwan are directly elected and are in power for 4 years. They are allowed to be re-elected one additional term of 4 years. The ruling party is defined as the party who occupies the presidential seat

In addition, since 2014, heads and representatives of local governments are elected every four years. This happens in all 198 county-administered townships and cities, as well as 170 districts. Basically the mayor of each local region are elected by the Taiwan people.

In Taiwan’s legislative elections, each voter casts one ballot for their district and another for at-large seats. for Government Agencies

Political parties and presidents in Taiwan

On a separate page I made a list of the largest political parties and presidents which Taiwan have and had in the past.



[2] For more information about the government agencies’ and the Yuans I would like to refer you to this link.

Go back to sitemap-Taiwan

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