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LOOK: Brawl breaks out in Taiwan parliament over dispute in chamber reforms

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published May 18, 2024 4:02 pm

Chaos took place among members of Taiwan's parliament after a brawl broke out due to disagreements about reforms to the chamber.

According to reports from Reuters and Fox News, several lawmakers were seen exchanging punches and shoving each other on the floor of the parliament.

It reached a point where members leapt over tables and pulled colleagues to the floor, causing a curtain in the chamber to get ripped. One person was also rushed to the hospital after crawling over other members and then falling on his head.

The incident happened just days before the country’s new President-elect Lai Ching-te is set to take office on May 20. While he emerged victorious during the elections held in January, his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost its majority in parliament.

According to reports, the brawl started because of disputes over controversial reforms, one of which being the proposal to imposing criminal penalties for officials found to be lying in parliament. 

Reuters detailed that the opposition parties, the Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People's Party (TPP), are pushing for greater scrutiny powers over the government. DPP, however, accused them of moving through reforms without the proper process in "an unconstitutional abuse of power." 

"Why are we opposed? We want to be able to have discussions, not for there to be only one voice in the country," DPP lawmaker Wang Mei-hui told the news outlet.

KMT's Jessica Chen meanwhile said, "The DPP does not want this to be passed as they have always been used to monopolizing power."

Lai will take over the rule of President Tsai Ing-wen. The two of them are from the same party, with Lai having served as Tsai’s vice president.

This is not the first time that a physical altercations happened in Taiwan's parliament. Back in 2020, KMT lawmakers threw pig guts onto the chamber's floors during a disagreement over pork imports.