Elections in Taiwan

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Elections in Taiwan are held on national and local level. On the national level, the head of state, the President, and members of the national legislature, the Legislative Yuan, are elected directly by citizens of Taiwan. National elections are held every four years.

Local self-government bodies including special municipalities, counties, cities, townships, county-controlled cities, indigenous districts and villages have their own elections. The heads as well as legislators of the self-government bodies are all directly elected by citizens who have registered their residency in the respective territory. Local elections are held every four years at intervals between national elections.

Elections are supervised by the Central Election Commission (CEC), an independent agency under the central government, with the municipality, county and city election commissions under its jurisdiction. The minimum voting age is twenty years. Voters must satisfy a four-month residency requirement before being allowed to cast a ballot.[1]


Elections were held for the first time in Taiwan by the Japanese colonial government on 22 November 1935, electing half of the city and township councillors.The other half were appointed by the prefectural governors. Only men aged 25 and above and who had paid a tax of five yen or more a year were allowed to vote, which was only 28,000 out of the 4 million population. The elections were held again in 1939, but the 1943 election was cancelled due to the second world war.[2][3][4]

The government of the Republic of China, led by Kuomintang, retreated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the Chinese Civil War with the Communist Party of China. At that time, the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion was enforced and largely restricted civil and political rights including voting right of the Taiwanese people. In addition, the Martial law in Taiwan also prohibited most forms of oppositions. From 1949 to 1990, the President was selected by the National Assembly first elected in 1947 and which had never been reelected since. The Legislative Yuan also had not been reelected since 1948. The provincial Governor and municipal Mayors were appointed by the central government. Direct elections were only held for local governments at the county level, and for legislators at the provincial level.

From the 1990s, a series of democratic reforms were implemented in Taiwan. The Additional Articles of the Constitution were adopted to grant full civil and political rights to the Taiwanese people (officially the people of the Free area of the Republic of China). Under the Additional Articles, the President and the national legislators are to be elected directly. The first congressional elections on Taiwan were held in 1991 for National Assembly and 1992 for Legislative Yuan. The first election for provincial Governors and municipality Mayors was in 1994. Most importantly, Taiwan held the first direct election of the President and Vice President in 1996.

The provincial government was reconstructed as a subsidiary of the central government in 1998 and elections for governor and provincial legislators were terminated. The National Assembly ceased to be convened regularly in 2000 and was abolished in 2005. The number of members of the Legislative Yuan was reduced to 113 from 2008.

In recent years, the government is further working on synchronizing the date of the elections into two key dates: national elections and local elections.

Types and schedules of election

Type National electionsLocal elections
Executive positions President and Vice PresidentMunicipal Mayors
Chiefs of indigenous districts in municipalities
County Magistrates (City Mayors)
Township Chiefs
Chiefs of village (borough)
Legislative seats LegislatorsMunicipal Councilors
Councilors of indigenous districts in municipalities
County (City) Councilors
Township Councilors
Last date ofElections 16 January 201629 November 2014
Inaugurations 1 February 2016 (Legislators)
20 May 2016 (President and Vice President)
25 December 2014
Next date ofElections January 2020November 2018
Inaugurations February 1, 2020 (Legislators)
May 20, 2020 (President and Vice President)
December 25, 2018

List of elections by date

The full election list since the first direct election of the President and Vice President.

YearNational electionsLocal electionsReferendums
PresidentialCongressionalMunicipalCounty and city
1996President 1996National Assembly 1996
1997Local 1997
1998Legislator 1998Municipal 1998
2000President 2000
2001Legislator 2001Local 2001
2002Municipal 2002
2004President 2004Legislator 2004Referendum 2004
2005National Assembly 2005Local 2005
2006Municipal 2006
2008President 2008Legislator 2008Referendums 2008 (Jan, March)
2009Local 2009
2010Municipal 2010
2012President 2012Legislator 2012
2014Local 2014
2016President 2016Legislator 2016
2018Local 2018
2020President 2020Legislator 2020

See also


  1. ":::Central Election Commission:::". 英文版.
  2. 打狗高雄|歷史與現在 (22 November 2015). "臺灣第一戰:1935年臺灣首次選舉 - 打狗高雄|歷史與現在". takao.tw.
  3. Rigger, Shelley (3 May 2002). "Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Reform". Routledge via Google Books.
  4. Tsai, Hui-yu Caroline (13 January 2009). "Taiwan in Japan's Empire-Building: An Institutional Approach to Colonial Engineering". Routledge via Google Books.
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