Legislative Yuan

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Legislative Yuan

9th Legislative Yuan
ROC Legislative Yuan Seal.svg
Founded1928 (pre-constitutionalization)
18 May 1948 (post-constitutionalization) [1] [2]
Su Jia-chyuan      (DPP)
since 1 February 2016
Tsai Chi-chang      (DPP)
since 1 February 2016
Caucus Leader
Ker Chien-ming      (DPP)
since 1 February 1998
Johnny Chiang      (KMT)
since 14 June 2018
Hsu Yung-ming      (NPP)
since 1 February 2016
Lee Hung-chun      (PFP)
since 1 February 2016
Secretary General
Lin Chih-chia      (TSU)
since 1 February 2016
Seats113 members (List)
Political groups
Government (69)
  •      DPP Caucus (69)
    •      DPP (68)
    •      Independent (1)

Largest Opposition (35)

  •      KMT Caucus (35)
    •      KMT (34)
    •      Independent (1)

Other Opposition (9)

Length of term
4 years
Parallel voting:
  • 73 seats by FPTP
  • 34 seats by party-list PR using largest remainder method with Hare quota
  • 6 seats by SNTV
Last election
16 January 2016
Next election
11 January 2020
Meeting place
Zhong Hua Min Guo Li Fa Yuan  (Yi Chang Wai ) Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (chamber, exterior).jpg
The Legislative Yuan, Taipei
www.ly.gov.tw (in English)
Constitution of the Republic of China
Legislative Yuan
Chinese name
Chinese 立法院
Literal meaningLaw-establishing court
Mongolian name
Mongolian Cyrillic Хууль тогтоох Юань
Mongolian script ᠬᠠᠤᠯᠢ
National Emblem of the Republic of China.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of China
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Taiwanportal

The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China now based in Taiwan. It is one of the five branches (五院; wǔyuàn; gō͘-īⁿ) of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People . Sometimes referred to as a "parliament", the Legislative Yuan, under Sun's political theory, is a branch of government. According to the Judicial Yuan's interpretation number 76 of the Constitution (1957), the parliament of the republic includes all three of the National Assembly (now abolished), the Legislative Yuan, and the Control Yuan. [3] However, after constitutional amendments effectively transferring almost all of the National Assembly's powers to the Legislative Yuan in the late 1990s, it has become more common in Taiwanese newspapers to refer to the Legislative Yuan as “the parliament” (國會; guóhuì; Kok-hōe).

In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house.

A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.

Taiwan state in East Asia

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The island of Taiwan has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. Taipei is the capital and largest metropolitan area. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taoyuan. With 23.5 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated states, and is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations (UN).


Current legislature

Starting with the 2008 legislative elections, drastic changes were made to the Legislative Yuan in accordance with a constitutional amendment passed in 2005. The Legislative Yuan has 113 members, down from 225. Legislators are elected to office through the following ways:

2008 Taiwan legislative election

The Election for the 7th Legislative Yuan of Taiwan was held on January 12, 2008. The results gave the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Pan-Blue Coalition a supermajority in the legislature, handing a heavy defeat to then-President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party, which won the remaining 27 seats only. The junior partner in the Pan-Green Coalition, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, won no seats.

Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body --- each citizen voter being represented proportionately as by Evaluative Proportional Representation located in Section 5.5.5, or by each party being represented proportionately. If n% of the electorate support a particular political party as their favorite, then roughly n% of seats will be won by that party. The essence of such systems is that all votes contribute to the result - not just a plurality, or a bare majority. The most prevalent forms of proportional representation all require the use of multiple-member voting districts, as it is not possible to fill a single seat in a proportional manner. In fact, the implementations of PR that achieve the highest levels of proportionality tend to include districts with large numbers of seats.

The largest remainder method is one way of allocating seats proportionally for representative assemblies with party list voting systems. It contrasts with various divisor methods.

Taiwanese indigenous peoples indigenous peoples of Taiwan

Taiwanese indigenous peoples or formerly Taiwanese aborigines, Formosan people, Austronesian Taiwanese or Gāoshān people, are the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, who number almost 530,000 or 2.3% of the island's population—or more than 800,000 people, considering the potential recognition of Taiwanese plain indigenous peoples officially in the future. Recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on Taiwan for approximately 5,500 years in relative isolation before a major Han immigration from mainland China began in the 17th century. Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesian people. Related ethnic groups include Polynesians, most people of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, among others.

Members serve four-year terms, with the 9th Legislative term serving from 1 February 2016. The 5 largest parties with 3 seats or more can form caucuses. If there are fewer than 5 such parties, legislators in other parties or with no party affiliation can form caucuses with at least 4 members. [5]

Seat composition in the Legislative Yuan
PartyCaucus leaderSeats
 Democratic Progressive Party Caucus Ker Chien-ming (majority)69
  Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)68
 Kuomintang Caucus Johnny Chiang (minority)35
  Kuomintang (KMT)34
  New Power Party (NPP) Hsu Yung-ming (third-party)5
 People First Party Caucus Lee Hung-chun (third-party)4
  People First Party (PFP)3
  Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU)1
(as of 22 Mar 2019)Total113

The previous legislature had 225 members. Legislators were elected in the following ways:

Single non-transferable vote or SNTV is an electoral system used in multi-member constituency elections.

Overseas Chinese are people of ethnic Chinese birth or descent who reside outside the territories of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Although a vast majority are Han Chinese, the group represents virtually all ethnic groups in China.

Su Jia-chyuan Taiwanese politician

Su Jia-chyuan is a Taiwanese politician of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

President of the Legislative Yuan

The President of the Legislative Yuan (立法院院長) is presiding officer of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China. The incumbent president is Su Jia-chyuan, a Democratic Progressive Party at-large legislator and the first DPP President of the Legislative Yuan.

Wang Jin-pyng Taiwanese politician

Wang Jin-pyng, is a Taiwanese politician. He served as President of the Legislative Yuan from 1999 to 2016, which makes him Taiwan's longest-serving legislative speaker. Once a leading figure of the Kuomintang (KMT), Wang is considered to be soft-spoken and a conciliatory figure who has often brokered deals between the KMT and opposition DPP. He was replaced by Democratic Progressive Party's Su Jia-chyuan as President of the Legislative Yuan after a decisive victory for the DPP in the 2016 election.


History on Mainland China

Former Legislative Yuan building in Nanjing in 1928. Legislative Yuan (1928) in Nanjing, Nov 2017.jpg
Former Legislative Yuan building in Nanjing in 1928.
Former Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan building in Nanjing in 1946-1949. Former Legislative Yuan & Control Yuan in Nanjing 2011-10.JPG
Former Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan building in Nanjing in 1946-1949.

The original Legislative Yuan was formed in the original Capital of Nanjing after the completion of the Northern Expedition. Its 51 members were appointed to a term of two years. The 4th Legislative Yuan under this period had its members expanded to 194, and its term in office was extended to 14 years because of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45). According to KMT political theory, these first four sessions marked the period of political tutelage.

The current Constitution of the Republic of China came into effect on 25 December 1947, and the first Legislative session convened in Nanjing on 18 May 1948, with 760 members. Six preparatory meetings had been held on 8 May 1948, during which Sun Fo and Chen Li-fu were elected President and Vice President of the body. In 1949, the mainland fell to the Communist Party and the Legislative Yuan (along with the entire ROC government) was transplanted to Taipei. On 24 February 1950, 380 members convened at the Sun Yat-sen Hall in Taipei.

History on Taiwan

The first Legislative Yuan was to have been elected for a term of three years ending in 1951; however, the fall of the Mainland made it impossible to hold new elections. [6] As a result, the Judicial Yuan decided that the members of the Legislative Yuan would continue to hold office until new elections could be held on the Mainland. This decision was made in the belief that the KMT would retake the Mainland in a short time. However, over the years, as the prospect of regaining the Mainland diminished, this meant that the legislators from mainland districts (and members of the ruling KMT) held their seats for life, in a one-party system. The body thus came to be called "the Non-reelected Congress". [6]

Over the years, deceased members elected on the mainland were not replaced while additional seats were created for Taiwan starting with eleven seats in 1969. Fifty-one new members were elected to a three-year term in 1972, fifty-two in 1975, ninety-seven in 1980, ninety-eight in 1983, one hundred in 1986, and one hundred thirty in 1989. Although the elected members of the Legislative Yuan did not have the majority to defeat legislation, they were able to use the Legislative Yuan as a platform to express political dissent. Opposition parties were formally illegal until 1991, but in the 1970s candidates to the Legislative Yuan would run as Tangwai ("outside the party"), and in 1985 candidates began to run under the banner of the Democratic Progressive Party.

The original members of the Legislative Yuan remained until 31 December 1991, when as part of subsequent Judicial Yuan ruling they were forced to retire and the members elected in 1989 remained until the 161 members of the Second Legislative Yuan were elected in December 1992. The third LY, elected in 1995, had 157 members serving 3-year terms. The fourth LY, elected in 1998, was expanded to 225 members in part to include legislators from the abolished provincial legislature of Taiwan Province. The Legislative Yuan greatly increased its prominence after the 2000 Presidential elections in Taiwan when the Executive Yuan and presidency was controlled by the Democratic Progressive Party while the Legislative Yuan had a large majority of Kuomintang members. The legislative elections in late 2001 produced a contentious situation in which the pan-blue coalition has only a thin majority over the governing pan-green coalition in the legislature, [7] making the passage of bills often dependent on the votes of a few defectors and independents. Because of the party situation there have been constitutional conflicts between the Legislative Yuan and the executive branch over the process of appointment for the premier and whether the president has the power to call a special session.

Amid 70% public support, the Legislative Yuan voted 217-1 on 23 August 2004 for a package of amendments to:

The new electoral system installed in 2008 includes 73 plurality seats (one for each electoral district), 6 seats for aboriginals, with the remaining 34 seats to be filled from party lists. Every county has a minimum of 1 electoral district, thereby guaranteed at least one seat in the legislature, while half of the proportionally represented seats drawn from party lists must be women.

Additionally, the Legislative Yuan proposed to abolish the National Assembly. Future amendments would still be proposed by the LY by a three-fourths vote from a quorum of at least three-fourths of all members of the Legislature. After a mandatory 180-day promulgation period, the amendment would have to be ratified by an absolute majority of all eligible voters of the ROC irrespective of voter turnout. The latter requirement would allow a party to kill a referendum proposal by asking that their voters boycott the vote as was done by the KMT with the referendums associated with the 2004 Presidential Election.

A DPP proposal to allow the citizens the right to initiate constitutional referendums was pulled off the table, due to a lack of support. The proposal was criticized for dangerously lowering the threshold for considering a constitutional amendment. Whereas a three-fourth vote of the LY would require that any proposed constitutional amendment have a broad political consensus behind it, a citizen's initiative would allow a fraction of the electorate to force a constitutional referendum. It was feared that allowing this to occur would result in a referendum on Taiwan independence which would likely result in a crisis with the People's Republic of China.

The Legislative Yuan also proposed to give itself the power to summon the president for an annual "state of the nation" address and launch a recall of the president and vice president (proposed by one fourth and approved by two thirds of the legislators and be submitted to a nationwide referendum for approval or rejection by majority vote). The Legislative Yuan will also have the power to propose the impeachment of the president or vice president to the Council of Grand Justices.

An ad hoc National Assembly was elected and formed in 2005 to ratify the amendments. The downsized Legislative Yuan took effect after the 2008 elections.

On 20 July 2007, the Legislative Yuan passed a Lobbying Act. [8]

On 18 March 2014, the Legislative Yuan was occupied by protesting students. [9]

Violence during sessions

Much of the work of the Legislative Yuan is done via legislative committees, and a common sight on Taiwanese television involves officials of the executive branch answering extremely hostile questions from opposition members in committees. In the 1990s, there were a number of cases of violence breaking out on the floor, usually triggered by some perceived unfair procedure ruling, but in recent years, these have become less common. There was a brawl involving 50 legislators in January 2007 and an incident involving 40 legislators on 8 May 2007 when a speaker attempted to speak about reconfiguring the Central Election Committee. It has been alleged that fights are staged and planned in advance. [10] These antics led the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research to award the Legislative Yuan its Ig Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 "for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations". [11]

The other Yuans are authorized to propose legislative bills to the Legislative Yuan. Legislative bills proposed by the Legislative Yuan have to be cosigned by a certain number of legislators. Once a bill reaches the legislature, it is subject to a process of three readings.


Composition by session

  majority  plurality only  largest minority

Party Leader
Caucus Leader
Caucus Leader
Party Leader
KMT Chiang Kai-shek (1948-1975)
Chiang Ching-kuo (1975-1988)
Lee Teng-hui (1988-1992)
Tung Gun-shin (1948-1950)
Liu Jin-chin (1950-1951)
Huang Guo-shu (1951-1952)
Chang Tao-fan (1952-1961)
Huang Guo-shu (1961-1972)
Ni Wen-ya (1972-1988)
Liu Kwo-tsai (1988-1990)
Liang Su-yung (1990-1992)
Liu Sung-pan (1992)
(post 86)
Chiang Peng-chien (1986-1987)
Yao Chia-wen (1987-1988)
Huang Shin-chieh (1988-1992)
Hsu Hsin-liang (1992)
(post 86)
(post 89)
KMT Lee Teng-hui 95 Liu Sung-pan 51 Shih Ming-teh Hsu Hsin-liang (1992-1993)
Shih Ming-teh (1993-1995)
DPP 162
1 Ju Gau-jeng CSDP
KMT Lee Teng-hui 85 Liu Sung-pan 54 Shih Ming-teh Shih Ming-teh (1995-1996)
Hsu Hsin-liang (1996-1998)
Lin Yi-hsiung (1998)
DPP 164
21 Chou Yang-shan Chen Kuei-miao NP
KMT Lee Teng-hui (1998-2000)
Lien Chan (2000-2001)
Hong Yuh-chin 123 Wang Jin-pyng 70 Shih Ming-teh Lin Yi-hsiung (1998-2000)
Frank Hsieh Chang-ting (2000-2001)
DPP 225
11 Hsieh Chi-ta (2001) Chou Yang-shan NP
DPP Frank Hsieh Chang-ting (2001-2002)
Chen Shui-bian (2002-2004)
Ker Chien-ming 87 Wang Jin-pyng 68 Hong Yuh-chin Lien Chan KMT 225
46 Chung Shao-ho James Soong Chu-yu PFP
13 Liao Pen-yen Huang Chu-wen TSU
1 Yok Mu-ming NP
DPP Su Tseng-chang (2005)
Yu Shyi-kun (2006-2007)
Chen Shui-bian (2007-2008)
Ker Chien-ming 89 Wang Jin-pyng 79 Tseng Yung-chuan Lien Chan (2004-2005)
Ma Ying-jeou (2005-2007)
Wu Po-hsiung (2007)
Chiang Pin-kung (2007)
Wu Po-hsiung (2007-2008)
KMT 225
34 Daniel Huang James Soong Chu-yu PFP
12 Huang Chu-wen (2004)
Shu Chin-chiang (2005-2006)
Huang Kun-huei (2007-2008)
6 Yen Ching-piao Chang Po-ya NPSU
1 Yok Mu-ming NP
KMT Wu Po-hsiung (2008-2009)
Ma Ying-jeou (2009-2012)
Tseng Yung-chuan (2008)
Lin Yi-shih (2008-2012)
81–74 [nb 1] Wang Jin-pyng 27–33 [nb 1] Ker Chien-ming Chen Shui-bian (2008)
Tsai Ing-wen (2008-2012)
DPP 113
3 Lin Pin-kuan NPSU
0–1 [nb 1] Kang Shih-ju Indep.
1 James Soong Chu-yu PFP
1Hong Yi Ping Indep.
KMT Ma Ying-jeou (2012-2014)
Wu Den-yih (2014-2015)
Eric Chu Li-luan (2015-2016)
Lin Hung-chih (2012-2014)
Alex Fai Hrong-tai (2014-2015)
Lai Shyh-bao (2015-2016)
64–66 [nb 1] [nb 2] Wang Jin-pyng 40 Ker Chien-ming Tsai Ing-wen (2012)
Su Tseng-chang (2012-2014)
Tsai Ing-wen (2014-2016)
DPP 113
3 Lisa Huang
Lai Chen-chang
Huang Kun-huei TSU
3–2 [nb 3] Thomas Lee James Soong Chu-yu PFP
Indep. 1–0 [nb 2] 2–1 [nb 1] Lin Pin-kuan NPSU
DPP Tsai Ing-wen Ker Chien-ming 68 Su Jia-chyuan 35 Lai Shyh-bao (2016)
Liao Kuo-tung (2016-2017)
Lin Te-fu (2017-2018)
Johnny Chiang (2018-)
Huang Min-hui (2016)
Hung Hsiu-chu (2016-2017)
Wu Den-yih (2017-)
KMT 113
5 Hsu Yung-ming Huang Kuo-chang NPP
3 Lee Hung-chun James Soong Chu-yu PFP
Indep. 11 Lin Pin-kuan NPSU
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 due to subsequent by-elections
  2. 1 2 due to changes in affiliation
  3. One member lost due to criminal charge.

See also

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  1. "Concise History". Legislative Yuan. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  2. 立法院全球資訊網-認識立法院-簡史. www.ly.gov.tw (in Chinese). Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  3. 司法院釋字第76號解釋 , Judicial Yuan interpretation number 76 (English translation)
  4. 公職人員選舉罷免法-全國法規資料庫入口網站. law.moj.gov.tw (in Chinese). Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  5. "Legislative Yuan Organization Act". Article 33, Act of 14 November 2012 (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  6. 1 2 Joel Fetzer, J Christopher Soper, Confucianism, Democratization, and Human Rights in Taiwan, p 58, Lexington Books, 15 October 2012.
  7. Carr, Adam (2001). "Taiwan". Archived from the original on October 12, 2004.
  8. Shih Hsiu-chuan "Taiwan becomes third country to pass Lobbying Act" , Taipei Times, 7/21/2007
  9. "TRADE PACT SIEGE: Legislative Yuan occupation timeline". Taipei Times. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  10. "Parliamentary antics said to be staged", Taiwan News (newspaper), Vol. 58, No. 322, 18 May 2007, p. 2
  11. "The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize Winners". Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize. Annals of Improbable Research. Retrieved 2009-02-10.

Coordinates: 25°02′38″N121°31′10″E / 25.0439°N 121.5195°E / 25.0439; 121.5195