Thu, Oct 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Blame aplenty as KMT protester sues DPP lawmakers

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua displays his ripped clothing at a press conference at the legislature yesterday. Lee announced that he was suing eight Democratic Progressive Party legislators for injuring him during the Double Ten National Day celebrations on Tuesday.

PHOTO: CNA

A day after instability marked Tuesday's national day celebrations, lawmakers yesterday engaged in finger-pointing over who should take the blame.

Scuffles between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and pan-blue camp lawmakers with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) broke out as President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) delivered his Double Ten National Day speech.

KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) told a press conference that he suffered from minor cerebral concussion after being beaten up by a group of DPP lawmakers.

"That was a planned attack by the DPP on me," Lee said.

He then went to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office and filed suit against eight DPP lawmakers.

Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶), one of the eight lawmakers, told a separate press conference that he beat Lee.

"I beat Lee Ching-hua to defend Taiwan's dignity," Lin said. "It is wrong to hit a person. It is also wrong to hit an animal. But if a person is inferior to an animal, then he deserves to be beaten."

KMT Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) said blue-camp legislators had chanted slogans during Chen's speech because a white cloth barrier erected to separate their seats from the president's grandstand had blocked Chen's view of the lawmakers.

"We had no choice but to chant. Otherwise, Chen couldn't see our banners," Chu said.

Two red-clad protesters were the first to disrupt the speech. They were seated about 50m to the right and rear of Chen.

DPP Legislator Kao Chien-chih (高建智) said the two were staffers at PFP headquarters and that one of the two seats had been given to PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

Kao said the PFP had arranged for the pair to sit in that location so that TV cameras could capture the disturbance.

In response to Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen's (陳唐山) complaint that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) had not kept his promise that the celebrations would proceed smoothly, Wang said he had not said anything of the sort.

Wang said that on the eve of the celebrations, he met KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), and that it was Hung who had promised not to disrupt the president's speech.

"The lawmakers' seats were changed and the white cloth barrier was erected -- both at the last minute -- which was why pan-blue lawmakers were not happy," Wang said, without saying who was responsible for the change.

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