As head of state, the President, starting from the ninth-term, shall be directly elected by the entire populace of the free area of the Republic of China, and may hold office for no more than two consecutive four-year terms. The President represents the country in its foreign relations and at state functions. All acts are conducted in his name, including command of the armed forces; promulgation of laws and decrees; declaration of martial law with the approval of, or subject to confirmation by, the Legislative Yuan; appointment and removal of civil servants and military officers; conferring of honors and decorations; granting of amnesties and pardons, remission of sentences, and restitution of civil rights; as well as conclusion of treaties and declaration of war and cease-fire. According to the newly amended Additional Articles of the Constitution, the President, by the resolution of the Executive Yuan, may issue emergency orders and take all necessary measures to avert imminent danger affecting the security of the State or of the people or to cope with any serious financial or economic crisis. The President may, following passage by the Legislative Yuan of a no-confidence vote against the president of the Executive Yuan, declare the dissolution of the Legislative Yuan after consulting with its president. However, the President shall not dissolve the Legislative Yuan while martial law or an emergency order is in effect.
The Executive Yuan, the highest administrative organ of this country, has a president (usually referred to as the premier), a vice president (vice premier), a number of ministers and chairpersons of commissions or councils, and several ministers without portfolio. The premier is appointed by the President of the Republic. The vice premier, ministers, and chairpersons are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the premier.
The Legislative Yuan is the highest legislative body of the state, consisting of popularly elected representatives who serve for four years and who are eligible to stand for re-election indefinitely. As prescribed in the Constitution, the Legislature has the following functions and powers: general legislative power; confirming emergency decrees issued by the president; receiving a report on the state of the nation by the ROC president; hearing reports on administration and revision of government policy; examining budgetary bills and audit reports; granting or withholding consent to presidential nominations to top government posts including nominees for the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan; amending the Constitution (subject to a subsequent popular referendum); and settling disputes involving local governments. Meanwhile, in accordance with the Additional Articles of the Constitution, the Legislative Yuan has been given the power to institute impeachment proceedings against the president or vice president of the Republic. Legislators enjoy the following immunities: no member of the Legislative Yuan shall be held responsible outside its premises for opinions expressed or votes cast inside them; and no member of the Legislative Yuan may, except in case of flagrante delicto, be arrested or detained without the consent of the Legislature.
The Judicial Yuan is the country's highest judicial organ under which are the courts at all levels, the Administrative Court, and the Committee on the Discipline of Public Functionaries. It is responsible for the adjudication of civil, criminal, and administrative litigations, as well as the discipline of civil servants. The Judicial Yuan has a president, a vice president, and 17 grand justices, who are nominated and, with the consent of the National Assembly, appointed by the ROC president. Starting from the year 2003 the Judicial Yuan shall have 15 grand justices, one of whom shall be the president of the Judicial Yuan and another one the vice president, each serving a term of eight years. The term of each grand justice is calculated individually, and all members shall not serve for a consecutive term. The grand justices are nominated and appointed by the ROC President, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. Among the grand justices nominated by the President in the year 2003, eight members, including the president and the vice president of the Judicial Yuan, shall serve for four years. The remaining grand justices shall serve for eight years. Through group consultations, the grand justices interpret the Constitution and unify the interpretation of laws and ordinances. They also form a constitutional tribunal to adjudicate matters relating to the dissolution of political parties violating constitutional provisions.
The Examination Yuan is responsible for the examination, employment, and management of all civil servants in this country. Specifically, the Examination Yuan oversees all examination-related matters; all matters relating to qualification screening; security of tenure, pecuniary aid in case of death, and the retirement of civil servants; and all legal matters pertaining to the employment, discharge, performance evaluations, scale of salaries, promotions, transfers, commendations, and rewards for civil servants. All these functions are handled by the Ministry of Examination, Ministry of Personnel, the Supervisory Board of Civil Servants Pension Fund, and the Civil Service Protection and Training Commission.
The Control Yuan is the highest watchdog body of this country, exercising the powers of impeachment, censure, and audit. It has 29 members, including a president and a vice president, all of whom shall serve a term of six years and are appointed by the President of the ROC with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. The Control Yuan has a Ministry of Audit, headed by an auditor-general who is nominated and appointed, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan, by the President of the Republic for a six-year term. The ministry audits the final accounts of revenues and expenditures of all government agencies.