Taiwan’s legislature scuffled as the chamber’s head tried to make a speech on the economy
The opposition lawmakers — members of the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang — broke through a protective barrier formed by members of the ruling Democratic Progress Party, as they shouted for the speaker's resignation.
The chamber's head, Su Tseng-Chang, was opening his annual address on the government's performance with a focus on national security and the economy.
In this image taken from video by Taiwan's EBC, Premier Su Tseng-chang, in purple mask, tries to make a policy speech amid a scuffle between opposition Nationalist party and ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmakersduring a parliament session in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (EBC via AP )
In the ensuing melee, which was captured on video, a few lawmakers were shoved to the ground, others poured out bottles of water onto their opponents, and Su was unable to give his speech.
The Nationalist Party has criticized the ruling administration over its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Legislators on Tuesday waved signs which called recently shortened quarantine requirements for pilots a "big breach."
Taiwan faced a large coronavirus outbreak in May and June this year, in which more than 800 people died. Many had suspected the outbreak had come from pilots returning home who only had to do three-day quarantines. The original source of the May outbreak hasn't been officially confirmed.
Last November, another fist-fight broke out inside parliament after Nationalist Party members brought pig guts into the chamber and threw them to protest Taiwan's removal of a ban on American pork products.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration had lifted a longstanding ban on imports of U.S pork a few months prior, in a move seen as one of the first steps toward possibly negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with the United States.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.