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Taiwanese lawmakers erupt in brawl over political speech – the Journal

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Taiwan’s legislature fell into a rowdy brawl after opposition lawmakers interrupted important political speech and rushed to the podium

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Taiwan’s legislature fell into a heated scuffle on Tuesday after opposition lawmakers interrupted an important political speech and rushed to the podium.

Opposition lawmakers made their way to the speakers’ gallery as House Chief Su Tseng-chang opened his annual speech on government performance with a focus on national security and the economy.

In the ensuing melee, a few lawmakers were pushed to the ground and others poured water bottles on their opponents. Su was unable to deliver his speech.

Opposition lawmakers – members of the Nationalist Party, or Kuomingtang – broke through the protective barrier formed by members of Su’s own party, the ruling Party for Democratic Progress, as they shouted for the president’s resignation for his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nationalist Party has criticized the ruling administration for its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers on Tuesday waved signs calling the recently shortened quarantine requirements for pilots a “big violation.”

Taiwan faced a major coronavirus outbreak in May and June this year, in which more than 800 people died. Many had suspected that the outbreak was stemming from pilots returning home who had 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 pork casings into the bedroom and threw them in a melee to protest Taiwan’s lifting of the ban on US pork products.

On YouTube, where videos of the fight were shared, many comments were in favor of the fight. Some praised the Kuomingtang for “getting stronger”.

In this image from a Taiwan EBC video, Nationalist Opposition Party MK Chen Yu-jen, in a white shirt, is grabbed by lawmakers from the ruling Progressive Democratic Party as she tries to ascend on the podium during a parliamentary session in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, September 28, 2021. The Taiwanese legislature fell into a rowdy scuffle on Tuesday, after opposition lawmakers interrupted an important political speech and rushed to the podium. (EBC via AP)

In this image from a Taiwan EBC video, Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang, in a purple mask, attempts to make a political speech amid a scuffle between the opposition Nationalist Party and lawmakers in the The ruling Progressive Democratic Party during a parliamentary session in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, September 28 February 2021. The Taiwanese legislature plunged into a rowdy scuffle on Tuesday, after opposition lawmakers interrupted an important speech politics and rushed to the podium. (EBC via AP)

In this image from a Taiwan EBC video, Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang, in a purple mask, attempts to make a political speech amid a scuffle between the opposition Nationalist Party and lawmakers in the The ruling Progressive Democratic Party during a parliamentary session in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, September 28 February 2021. The Taiwanese legislature plunged into a rowdy scuffle on Tuesday, after opposition lawmakers interrupted an important speech politics and rushed to the podium. (EBC via AP)