Pro-China Party Prompts Water Balloon Fist Fight in Taiwan Parliament

Legislators from Taiwans main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) scuffle as the KMT protest against Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's nomination of Chen Chu, former secretary general of the President Office, for the chairwoman of the Control Yuan, the countrys watchdog body of other branches of government, …
SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images

Scuffles erupted inside Taiwan’s legislative chamber on Friday as opposition lawmakers protested for the third day President Tsai Ing-wen’s nomination of her senior aide to a top government watchdog role, Reuters reported on Friday.

Opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) has decried the president’s nomination of Chen Chu to direct Control Yuan, a government accountability office, as “cronyism.” For the past three days, KMT members occupied parliament’s main chamber and demonstrated outside in an effort to stop ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers from voting to approve the nomination.

“Several KMT lawmakers on Friday knocked down voting booths inside the chamber to block DPP legislators from casting ballots over the nomination,” Reuters reports.

In video published by the South China Morning Post, KMT protesters are seen throwing water balloons at DPP legislators inside the chamber on Friday. Other rival lawmakers engaged in fistfights with each other as tensions escalated on the third consecutive day of protests.

On Thursday, “an intense struggle ensued and at one point during the hour-long scuffle, KMT Legislator Lai Shyi-bao was hit by a chair thrown across the chamber and his forehead began to bleed,” the Taipei Times reported. Later on Thursday, “DPP legislators … entered the legislative chamber and began [physically] removing the KMT legislators.”

On Friday, roughly “100 KMT supporters outside the parliament fought with police and some tried to break through barricades, calling on the DPP to withdraw the nomination,” Reuters reported.

“Rejection to cronyism. Withdraw the nomination,” KMT chairman Johnny Chiang chanted to supporters from the back of a truck parked outside the parliament building.
Despite this week’s protests, voting proceeded on Friday and Chen Chu was elected head of Control Yuan.
“In Taiwan, punch-throwing and rowdy protests are not uncommon in parliament,” according to Reuters.

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