Elections in Taiwan

Elections in Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, are held on national and local level. On the national level, the head of state, the President, and all members of the national legislature, the Legislative Yuan, are elected directly by the citizens of Taiwan. National elections were synchronized into a single day from 2012 and 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 head as well as the legislators of the self-government bodies are all directly elected by the people who have registered their residency in the respective territory. Local elections were synchronized into a single day from 2014 and are held every four years.

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]


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. In that time, the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion was enforced and largely restricted many civil and political rights including voting right of the Taiwanese people. In addition, the Martial law in Taiwan also set most actions of oppositions as illegal. From 1949 to 1990, the President was elected by the first National Assembly which had never been reelected since 1948. The Legislative Yuan had also never been reelected since 1947. The provincial Governor and municipal Mayors were appointed by the central government. The direct elections were only held in the local leaders lower than county level, and legislators lower than the provincial level.

From the 1990s, a series of democratic and governmental reforms were implemented in Taiwan. Additional Articles of the Constitution were passed 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 shall be directly elected. 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.

At the same time, the government also undertook to simplify the public sector. The provincial government was streamlined as a subsidiary of the central government in 1998 and no longer holds elections for the Governor and the provincial legislators since then. The regular National Assembly was ceased in 2000 and fully defunct 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 January 16, 2016November 29, 2014
Inaugurations February 1, 2016 (Legislators)
May 20, 2016 (President and Vice President)
December 25, 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
1997 Local 1997
1998Legislator 1998Municipal 1998
2000President 2000
2001Legislator 2001Local 2001
2002 Municipal 2002
2004President 2004Legislator 2004Referendum 2004
2005National Assembly 2005Local 2005
2006 Municipal 2006
2008President 2008Legislator 2008Referendums 2008 (Jan, March)
2009Local 2009
2010Municipal 2010
2012President 2012Legislator 2012
2014Local 2014
2016President 2016Legislator 2016
2018Local 2018

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elections in Taiwan.


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