Amid bloodshed and fisticuffs, yesterday's legislative sitting accomplished little as the showdown over the cross-strait peace advancement bill proposed by the People First Party (PFP) was postponed and the organic bill of the proposed national communications commission (NCC) remained in legislative limbo.
As only the name of the legislation and the first article of the NCC bill proposed by the pan-blue camp passed second reading, next Tuesday's Procedural Committee will decide whether to put the cross-strait peace advancement bill on the agenda of the Oct. 25 plenary legislative session.
The scuffle began at around 11am when Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
PHOTO: WALLY SANTANA, AP
Upset by Li's unexpected proposal, pan-green lawmakers stormed to the podium to voice their grievances. Li's proposal was endorsed by 79 lawmakers, while seven voted against it. The legislature has 225 members.
The pan-green camp refused to honor the result, claiming the number of lawmakers casting votes had failed to reach a quorum.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Chao-hui (
Wang then ordered a recess, and the two camps engaged in a shouting match.
Blowing whistles and holding placards reading "Taiwan stand up, refuse China's unification" and "pan-blue for party assets, against reform," the pan-green camp chanted such slogans as "dismiss the legislature" and "we want to speak."
The pan-blue camp responded by reciting "recall the president" and "dirty DPP," while holding placards reading "please review bills" and "do not cause any more disturbance."
At 11:32am, a violent exchange broke out between the two camps after the legislative speaker ordered an article-by-article discussion of the NCC bill.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Sho-wen (
He was severely wounded on his left eyebrow, with blood streaming down his face. He was later rushed to the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital, where he received 10 large stitches and over 100 small stitches.
He also suffered from minor fractures on his forehead and right shoulder and complained about dizziness. He was ordered by doctors to stay at the hospital for further observation.
Lee suffered a broken lip, sprained ankle, and a bruised nose and knee. He also complained about vertigo and was rushed to the same hospital for treatment but later released.
Chang claimed Lee had hit him on the head with a mobile phone, which was later snatched by him and KMT Legislator Chen Chieh (陳杰). Lee, however, said that he had acted purely out of self defense.
The two camps then pointed fingers at each other for inciting the violence, with the pan-blue camp accusing its rival of attempting "premeditated murder" and the pan-greens berating the pan-blue for "acting as if it is the victim."
DPP caucus whip William Lai (
"Even if they are the majority in the legislature, they should respect other caucuses' right to speak," he said.
He also painted Chang, PFP Legislator George Hsieh (
KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) blamed the DPP caucus, saying it was the "mastermind" behind the violence, and called the DPP's ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), its "accomplice."
PFP caucus whip Hwang Yih-jiau (
The legislature is scheduled to discuss the timetable for the review of next year's government budget today.
KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), however, said her caucus would like to push the government budget through to committee for review so it can be closely scrutinized.
Responding to KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) call to send in legislative security officers to settle yesterday's mayhem, Wang said that Ma should stop poking his nose into the legislature.
"It sounds good and easy, but it is not something that he can tell us to do," he said.
The afternoon session, which began at 4:15pm, was just as turbulent. Pan-green lawmakers became agitated again shortly after KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) began to speak on the NCC bill.
The uproar escalated when Wang ordered a vote on article 1 of the bill in response to a request filed by KMT Legislator Joanna Lei (
DPP lawmakers Lee Chen-nan (
Ma yesterday condemned the violence and urged the authorities in the Legislative Yuan to exercise their right to prevent such incidents from happening.
"This attack was obviously planned. The KMT denounces all forms of violence and we regret the incident," Ma said after visiting Chang.
"If violence erupts again during the legislative procedure, police should be called in to restore order and prevent further injuries," Ma said.
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih and Jewel Huang
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