Taiwan lawmakers tackle each other and exchange blows in bitter dispute over parliament reforms (VIDEO)

Saturday, May 17, 2024
 - Taiwanese lawmakers shoved, tackled and hit each other in parliament on Friday, May 17, in a bitter dispute about reforms to the chamber, just days before President-elect Lai Ching-te takes office without a legislative majority.

According to reports, even before votes started to be cast, some lawmakers screamed at and shoved each other outside the legislative chamber, before the action moved onto the floor of parliament itself.

Lawmakers surged around the speaker's seat, some leaping over tables and pulling colleagues to the floor.

The fight was stopped but later continued in the afternoon.

Lai, who is to be inaugurated on Monday, won January's election, but his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost its majority in parliament.

The main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), has more seats than the DPP but not enough to form a majority on its own, so it has been working with small Taiwan People's Party (TPP)

The opposition wants to give parliament greater scrutiny powers over the government, including a controversial proposal to criminalise officials who are deemed to make lie in parliament.

The DPP says the KMT and TPP are improperly trying to force through the proposals without the customary consultation process in what the DPP calls "an unconstitutional abuse of power".

Lawmakers from all three parties were involved in the fight according to reports, and traded accusations about who was to blame.

It's not the first time the lawmakers in Taiwan have fought. In 2020, KMT lawmakers threw pig guts onto the chamber's floor in a dispute over easing U.S. pork imports.

Watch video below

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