|President of the Executive Yuan
Xíngzhèng Yuàn Yuànzhǎng (Mandarin)
Hêng-chèng Īⁿ Īⁿ-tiúⁿ (Taiwanese)
Hàng-chṳn Yen Yen-chhòng (Hakka)
|Status||Head of government|
|Reports to||Legislative Yuan|
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||Constitution of the Republic of China and its Additional Articles|
|Precursor||Prime Minister of the Imperial Cabinet|
|Formation||13 March 1912|
|First holder||Tang Shaoyi (as Premier of Cabinet)|
|Salary||121,500 USD annually|
|President of the Executive Yuan|
|Literal meaning||Executive Court Court-Chief|
|Alternative Chinese name|
|Literal meaning||Cabinet Premier|
The Premier of the Republic of China, officially the President of the Executive Yuan (行政院院長), is head of government of the Republic of China and leader of the Executive Yuan. The Premier is appointed by the President of the Republic of China without approval by the Legislative Yuan. The office is also alternatively known as the Premier of Taiwan or the Prime Minister of Taiwan.
Prior the establishment of the Executive Yuan in 1928, the premier of the ROC was created as Premier of the Cabinet (內閣總理) in 1912. It was changed to the Secretary of State (國務卿) in 1914 and Premier of State Council (國務總理) in 1916 in the Beiyang Government. In 1928, the Kuomintang (KMT) Government established the Executive Yuan and Tan Yankai served as the first President of the Executive Yuan.
Powers and responsibilities
The premier presides over the Executive Yuan Council, which makes up the official cabinet. The vice premier, ministers, and chairpersons of the Executive Yuan Council are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier. The premier's official duties also include presenting administrative policies and reports to the Legislators, responding to the interpellations of legislators (much like Question Time in some parliamentary systems), and, with the approval of the president, asking the Legislators to reconsider its resolutions. Laws and decrees promulgated by the President must also be countersigned by the Premier.
In the event of vacancies in both the presidency and the vice presidency, the premier serves as Acting President of the Republic for up to three months.
One-third of the Legislators may initiate a no-confidence vote against the premier. If approved with simple majority, the premier must resign from office within ten days and at the same time may request that the President dissolve the Legislative Yuan. If the motion fails, another no-confidence motion against the same premier cannot be initiated for one year. This power has never been used. In practice, the President has enough legitimacy and executive authority to govern in the face of a legislature controlled by the opposition, and would likely respond to a vote of no-confidence by nominating another person with similar views.
Premier as head of government
The Constitution of the Republic of China did not originally define strictly the relation between the premier and the president of the Republic and it was not clear whether the government would lean towards a presidential system or parliamentary system when divided. Power shifted to Premier Chiang Ching-kuo after President Chiang Kai-shek's death but shifted to the presidency again when Chiang Ching-kuo became president. After President Lee Teng-hui succeeded Chiang as president in 1988, the power struggle within the Kuomintang extended to the constitutional debate over the relationship between the president and the premier. The first three premiers under Lee, Yu Kuo-hwa, Lee Huan and Hau Pei-tsun, were mainlanders who had initially opposed Lee's ascension to power. The appointment of Lee and Hau were compromises by President Lee to placate the conservative mainlander faction in the party. The subsequent appointment of premier Lien Chan was taken as a sign of Lee's consolidation of power. Moreover, during this time, the power of the premier to approve the president's appointments and the power of the Legislative Council to confirm the president's choice of premier was removed (out of fears that the Democratic Progressive Party would one day gain control of the legislature), clearly establishing the president as the more powerful position of the two.
The relationship between the premier and the legislature again became a contentious issue after the 2000 Presidential election, which led to the election of the Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Shui-bian to the presidency, while the legislature remained under a Kuomintang majority. Initially, President Chen Shui-bian appointed Tang Fei, a member of the Kuomintang, to the premiership; however, this arrangement proved unworkable, and subsequent appointments were from the Democratic Progressive Party. The established constitutional convention is that the premier is responsible to the President and does not have any responsibility to the legislature other than to report on his activities. However, the Pan-Blue Coalition of the Kuomintang and its coalition partners contended that Chen's actions were unconstitutional, and proposed to name its own choice of premier. There are calls for a constitutional amendment to better define the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government.
Living former premiers
As of June 2021, there are fourteen living former Premiers of the Republic of China. The most recent premier to die was Hau Pei-tsun, who served from 1990 to 1993, and died on 30 March 2020 at the age of 100.
27 August 1936
3 January 1939
15 March 1932
23 March 1938
25 April 1948
18 May 1946
10 May 1943
30 January 1948
13 October 1949
18 November 1960
4 October 1948
24 June 1954
13 December 1951
6 October 1959
- List of premiers of the Republic of China
- President of the Republic of China
- Politics of the Republic of China
- Elections in the Republic of China
- "Former premier Su to regain position". Taipei Times. 12 January 2019.
- Quah, Jon S. T. (21 July 2011). "Curbing Corruption in Asian Countries: An Impossible Dream?". Emerald Group Publishing – via Google Books.
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- 葉耀元 (21 February 2015). "總統制、半總統制、內閣制？台灣到底需要什麼樣的憲政框架？". 菜市場政治學. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
- Media related to Premiers of the Republic of China at Wikimedia Commons