Scuffles as KMT occupies Taiwan's parliament

World | REUTERS 30 Jun 2020

Fighting erupted in Taiwan's parliament yesterday as lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party broke through barricades erected by the main opposition Kuomintang, who had occupied it to protest against government "tyranny."

More than 20 KMT lawmakers occupied the legislature overnight, blocking entry to the main chamber with chains and chairs, saying the government was trying to force through legislation and demanding the president withdraw the nomination of a close aide to a high-level watchdog.

Late morning yesterday, DPP lawmakers pulled down the barricades and forced their way in, surrounding the main podium where their KMT opposite numbers had holed up.

There were scuffles and shouting as the KMT, including its youthful new chairman Johnny Chiang, struggled to hold their position.

The KMT lawmakers eventually withdrew, but denounced their DPP counterparts for using violence against them.

The Beijing-friendly KMT, trounced in January's parliamentary and presidential elections, began their protest in parliament on Sunday afternoon.

The KMT said it was protesting the DPP and President Tsai Ing-wen's forcing though bills and Tsai's nomination of her senior aide Chen Chu to head the Control Yuan, an independent government watchdog, calling Tsai's government "more tyrannical than before."

The KMT is undergoing a policy revamp to try and win back popular support, but faces an uphill struggle.

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