Taiwan’s politicians brawl after opposition rushes the podium

28 September 2021, 20:54

Premier Su Tseng-chang, in purple mask, tries to make a policy speech amid a scuffle between opposition Nationalist party and ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers (EBC/AP)
Taiwan Parliament. Picture: PA

The head of the chamber was unable to make his scheduled annual address.

Taiwan’s legislature descended into a rowdy brawl after opposition politicians interrupted an important policy address and rushed the podium.

Opposition politicians pushed their way to the speaker’s podium as the chamber’s head, Su Tseng-chang, was opening his annual address on the government’s performance with a focus on national security and the economy.

In the ensuing melee, a few politicians were shoved to the ground and others poured out bottles of water onto their opponents.

Mr Su was unable to give his speech.

The opposition politicians, members of the Nationalist party, or Kuomingtang, broke through the protective barrier formed by members of Mr Su’s own party, the ruling Democratic Progress Party, as they shouted for the speaker’s resignation over his government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Opposition politicians rushed the podium (EBC/AP)
Opposition politicians rushed the podium (EBC/AP)

The Nationalist party has criticised the ruling administration over its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Legislators on Tuesday waved signs which called recently shortened quarantine requirements for pilots a “big breach”.

Taiwan faced a large coronavirus outbreak in May and June this year, in which more than 800 people died.

Many had suspected the outbreak had come from pilots returning home who only had to do three-day quarantines.

The original source of the May outbreak has not been officially confirmed.

Last year, members of the Nationalist Party brought pig guts into the chamber and threw them around in a melee to protest against Taiwan’s removal of a ban on American pork products.

On YouTube, where videos of the fight were shared, many comments were supportive of the brawl.

Some praised the Kuomingtang for “becoming stronger”.

By Press Association

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