Lawmakers are prohibited from carrying “dangerous items,” including air horns, water balloons and flour, into meetings, the Legislative Yuan said yesterday.
Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) made the announcement before Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) issued the directive to the four caucuses.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers last week thwarted Premier Lin Chuan’s (林全) presentation on the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and related budget reviews with the aforementioned items.
Police stationed in the legislative compound will bar legislators carrying any of the prohibited items from entering meeting venues, Lin Chih-chia said, adding that the rule was introduced after seeking doctors’ advice.
A “demonstrative” conference room is to be established by the end of September with delineated areas for reporters and assistants, Lin Chih-chia said in response to last week’s turmoil, which saw reporters cornering brawling lawmakers and legislative assistants trespassing onto podiums and rostrums.
More conference rooms are to be transformed in the same fashion if the policy proves effective for maintaining order, Lin Chih-chia added.
The rule drew criticism from KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), who said that Su should specify the term “dangerous items.”
“Is blowing whistles dangerous?” he said, referring to one of the KMT caucus’ obstruction tactics.
“Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) last week tossed a chair at KMT lawmakers, so if the rule stands, chairs should also be banned,” he added.
Order in the legislature relies upon coordination between the caucuses, Lin Wei-chou said, adding that the KMT would adjust the strength of its boycott of budget proposals for the program according to its needs.
In related news, the prolonged chaos has drawn the attention of the BBC, which on Tuesday released a video in which it set electronic dance music to footage of fighting legislators.
The video, titled “Taiwan’s parliament resumes brawl,” elicited a substantial response on YouTube.
“Embarrassing. What a bunch of clowns,” a user said.
“I am Taiwanese and I feel so ashamed,” another said.
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