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Legislative Yuan

The Legislative Yuan (立法院 li4-fa3 yuan4, literal meaning: "Law-establishing Branch (of the Government)") is the legislative body of the Republic of China.

It is one of the five branches of government (called "yuan" ) of the San-min Chu-i (political theory of Sun Yat-sen); the others are the Executive Yuan , the Judicial Yuan, the Examination Yuan, and the Control Yuan.

In 1947, the Kuomintang promulgated a constitution and the 1st Legislative session met in the Chinese capital Nanjing in 1948. In 1949, the mainland fell to the Communists and the Legislative Yuan (along with the entire ROC government) was transplanted to Taipei.

The 1st Legislative Yuan was to have been elected for a term of three years ending in 1951; however, the fall of the Mainland made it impossible to hold new elections. As a result, the ROC Judicial Yuan[?] decided that the members of the Legislative Yuan would continue to hold office until new elections could be held on the Mainland. Over the years, deceased members elected on the mainland were not replaced while additional seats were created for Taiwan.

Nonetheless, the same Legislative Yuan remained until 1991, when as part of subsequent Judicial Yuan ruling, a Second Legislative Yuan was elected. The second LY was elected in 1992. The third LY, elected in 1995, had 157 members serving 3-year terms. The fourth LY, elected in 1998, was expanded to 225 members. The LY has greatly enhanced its standing in relation to the Executive Yuan[?] and has established itself as an important player on the central level. Along with increasing strength and size this body is beginning to reflect the recently liberalized political system.

The current and 5th Legislative Yuan has 225 members. 168 are elected by popular vote. Of the remainder, 41 are elected on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight are elected from the vaguely defined overseas Chinese constituencies, and eight seats are reserved for the aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms.

See also: Politics of Taiwan, Constitution of the Republic of China

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