Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China

The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political status of Taiwan "prior to national unification". The Additional Articles are usually attached after the original constitution as a separate document. It also has its own preamble and article ordering different from the original constitution.[1]

Additional Articles of
the Constitution of
the Republic of China
Overview
Original title中華民國憲法增修條文
JurisdictionFree area of the Republic of China
Ratified22 April 1991 (1991-04-22)
Date effective1 May 1991 (1991-05-01)
SystemUnitary semi-presidential republic
Government structure
BranchesFive (Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Examination, Control)
Head of statePresident
ChambersUnicameral
(Legislative Yuan)
ExecutiveExecutive Yuan
led by the Premier
JudiciaryJudicial Yuan
FederalismUnitary
Electoral collegeNo
History
First legislature
  • January 1, 1992 (NA)
  • February 1, 1993 (LY)
First executiveMay 20, 1996 (President)
Amendments7
Last amendedJune 10, 2005
Commissioned byNational Assembly
Signatories457 of the 583 remaining delegates, in Taipei
(most delegates elected in 1947, with some elected in 1969 and 1986)
SupersedesMost articles of the original Constitution of the Republic of China
Additional Articles of
the Constitution of
the Republic of China
Traditional Chinese中華民國憲法
增修條文
Simplified Chinese中华民国宪法
增修条文

The Additional Articles are the fundamental law of the present government of the Republic of China on Taiwan since 1991, last amended in 2005.

Features

Free area

The territory controlled by the Government of the Republic of China changed significantly after the Chinese Civil War, and the Republic of China could not hold elections in territories it did not control. Thus, the Additional Articles of the Constitution defines the Free Area (Chinese: 自由地區, Mandarin: Zìyóu Dìqū, Taiwanese: Chū-iû Tē-khu, Hakka: Chhṳ-yù Thi-khî) to be the territory and the people under the government's effective jurisdiction. Whilst all residents of China are nominally citizens of the Republic, only the citizens who have the right to abode in the Free Area may exercise the full civil and political rights, including right of abode and suffrage.

Direct presidential election

The Additional Articles requires direct election of the President by the citizens of the free area.[2] The first direct presidential election was held in 1996. Under the original constitution, the President was elected indirectly by the National Assembly.

Government reform and reorganization

The Additional Articles of the Constitution reformed the government of the Republic of China from a parliamentary system to a de facto semi-presidential system. The National Assembly is de facto abolished, and its functions are exercised directly by the citizens of the Free area. The five-power governmental structure is retained, though it functions closer to the traditional Western trias politica in practice.

Constitutional referendum

A 2005 amendment regarding on referendum stated that a constitutional amendment or an alteration of the national territory has to be ratified by more than half (50%) of voters of the Free Area in a referendum after passed in the Legislative Yuan with a three-quarters majority. Before that, constitutional amendments and national territory alterations were ratified by the National Assembly.

Comparison of the governmental structure

Most of the amendments brought by the Additional Articles focuses on the mechanism of separation of powers among central governmental organs. The Additional Articles changed the form of government from parliamentary system to semi-presidential system, enhance the implementation of direct democracy and direct election, reduce the chambers of parliament, and simplify the hierarchy of local governments.[3]

Governmental structureAdditional Articles (2005)Original Constitution (1947)
Form of governmentSemi-presidential republicParliamentary republic
Head of stateThe president is elected directly by the citizens of the free area (Taiwan) to a four(4)-year term, may be re-elected once. The president is elected indirectly by the National Assembly to a six(6)-year term, may be re-elected once.
Head of governmentThe premier is appointed by the president. The Legislative Yuan may vote for motion of no confidence. The premier is nominated and appointed by the president, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan.
ParliamentUnicameralism: Legislative Yuan
  • Members of the Legislative Yuan are elected directly by the citizens of the free area (Taiwan) to a four(4)-year term.
Tricameralism: National Assembly, Legislative Yuan, and Control Yuan
  • Delegates of the National Assembly are elected directly by the citizens to a six(6)-year term.
  • Members of the Legislative Yuan are elected directly by the citizens to a three(3)-year term.
  • Members of the Control Yuan are elected indirectly by provincial legislators to a six(6)-year term.
JudiciaryThe justices are nominated and appointed by the president, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan to an eight(8)-year term. The justices are nominated and appointed by the president, with the consent of the Control Yuan to a nine(9)-year term.
Local governmentThe provinces are streamlined. Counties and cities under provinces are subordinated directly to the central government. Two level system: provincial Level, county Level

Articles

The Additional Articles of the Constitution has been amended seven times since the 1990s.

AmendmentProcessNote
1stApr 22, 1991Ratified by 1st National Assembly Delegates elected in 1947, 1969, and 1986. In the 583 delegates, 470 attended, 457 agreed.
May 1, 1991Promulgated by 8th President Lee Teng-huiAdditional Articles established
2ndMay 27, 1992Ratified by 2nd National Assembly Delegates elected in 1986 and 1991. In the 403 delegates, 285 attended, 277 agreed.
May 28, 1992Promulgated by 8th President Lee Teng-hui
3rdJul 28, 1994Ratified by 2nd National Assembly Delegates elected in 1991. In the 321 delegates, 220 attended, 215 agreed.
Aug 1, 1994Promulgated by 8th President Lee Teng-hui
4thJul 18, 1997Ratified by 3rd National Assembly Delegates elected in 1996. In the 333 delegates, 269 attended, 261 agreed.
Jul 21, 1997Promulgated by 9th President Lee Teng-hui
5thSep 3, 1999Ratified by 3rd National Assembly Delegates elected in 1996. In the 315 delegates, 214 attended, 211 agreed.
Sep 15, 1999Promulgated by 9th President Lee Teng-hui
Mar 24, 2000Voided by Justices of the Judicial YuanConstitutional Interpretation No. 499
6thApr 24, 2000Ratified by 3rd National Assembly Delegates elected in 1996. In the 314 delegates, 287 attended, 285 agreed.
Apr 25, 2000Promulgated by 9th President Lee Teng-hui
7thAug 23, 2004Proposed by 5th Legislative Yuan Members elected in 2001. In the 225 members, 198 attended, 198 agreed.
Jun 7, 2005Ratified by the National Assembly Delegates elected in 2005. In the 300 delegates, 298 attended, 249 agreed.
Jun 10, 2005Promulgated by 11th President Chen Shui-bianCurrently in force
——Mar 25, 2022Proposed by 10th Legislative Yuan Members elected in 2020. In the 113 members, 109 attended, 109 agreed.
Nov 26, 2022Failed in national referendumIn the 19,239,392 eligible voters, 5,647,102 agreed. See 2022 Taiwanese constitutional referendum

Current Additional Articles of the Constitution contains 12 articles:

See also

References

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