Fighting in Taiwan parliament after opposition occupies chamber

TAIPEI – Fighting erupted in Taiwan’s parliament on Monday (June 29) as lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) broke through barricades erected by the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) who had occupied it to protest against government “tyranny”.  

Taiwan is a rambunctious democracy and fights and protests inside the parliament building are not uncommon.

More than 20 KMT lawmakers occupied the legislature overnight on Monday, 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 on Monday, 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.

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