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. 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.
The Additional Articles are the fundamental law of the present government of the Republic of China on Taiwan since 1991, last amended in 2005.
FeaturesGovernment of the Republic of China changed significantly after the Chinese Civil War. This created difficulties in holding elections on a national scale. Thus, the Additional Articles of the Constitution defines the Free Area to address the territory and the people under the government's effective jurisdiction. Only the citizens of the Free Area may exercise the full civil and political rights, including suffrage and referendum.
Direct presidential electionThe Additional Articles requires direct election of the President by the citizens of the free area. 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 reorganizationThe Additional Articles of the Constitution reformed the government of the Republic of China from a parliamentary system to a semi-presidential system. The National Assembly is 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 referendumThe Additional Articles were ratified on June 7, 2005, constitutional amendment or national territory alteration have to be ratified by more than half of voters of the Free Area in a referendum after passed in Legislative Yuan with a three-quarters majority. Before that, constitutional amendment or national territory alteration were ratified by the National Assembly.
Comparison of the governmental structureThe present structure of government are regulated by the Additional Articles in 2005.
|Governmental structure||Original Constitution||Additional Articles|
|Head of state||The President and Vice President are elected separately by the National Assembly for a duration of 6 years||The President and Vice president are elected in pair by the citizens of the Free area for a duration of 4 years, limited to 2 terms.|
|Head of government||The premier is nominated by the president, and consented by the Legislative Yuan.||The premier is appointed by the president.|
|Parliament||Tricameralism: National Assembly, Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan.||Unicameralism: Legislative Yuan.|
|Judiciary||The justices are appointed by the president, with the consent of the Control Yuan. The justices have life tenure.||The 15 justices are appointed by the president, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan for a duration of 8 years.|
|Local government||Two level system: provincial Level, county Level||The provinces are streamlined. Counties and cities under provinces are subordinated directly to the central government.|
ArticlesThe Additional Articles of the Constitution has been amended seven times since the 1990s.
|Amendment||Date ratified||Ratified by||Date effective||President||Note|
|1st||April 22, 1991||1st National Assembly||May 1, 1991||Lee Teng-hui||Additional Articles established|
|2nd||May 27, 1992||2nd National Assembly||May 28, 1992||Lee Teng-hui|
|3rd||July 28, 1994||2nd National Assembly||August 1, 1994||Lee Teng-hui|
|4th||July 18, 1997||3rd National Assembly||July 21, 1997||Lee Teng-hui|
|5th||September 3, 1999||3rd National Assembly||September 15, 1999||Lee Teng-hui||Voided by Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 499|
|6th||April 24, 2000||3rd National Assembly||April 25, 2000||Lee Teng-hui|
|7th||June 7, 2005||ad hoc National Assembly||June 10, 2005||Chen Shui-bian||Currently in force|
Current Additional Articles of the Constitution contains 12 articles:
- Article 1: Referendum on amendment to the Constitution and alteration of the national territory.
- Article 2: President and the vice president.
- Article 3: Premier and the Executive Yuan.
- Article 4: Legislative Yuan.
- Article 5: Judicial Yuan.
- Article 6: Examination Yuan.
- Article 7: Control Yuan.
- Article 8: Remuneration and pay of the members of the Legislative Yuan.
- Article 9: Local governments.
- Article 10: Fundamental national policy.
- Article 11: Cross-Strait relations.
- Article 12: Procedure for amending the Constitution.