Scuffles broke out at the Legislative Yuan yesterday as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers again occupied the legislative chamber, stymieing a report by Control Yuan presidential nominee Chen Chu (陳菊) and a question-and-answer session.
The KMT lawmakers showed up at the back door of the chamber at about 5am and tried to enter, but were stopped by several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers who were guarding the door.
Scuffles broke out as the KMT lawmakers tried to force their way through the door, injuring legislators on both sides.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
KMT Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) tackled DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), while DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) became entangled with KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲).
Wang, showing a bruise on his face and scrapes on his body, accused two of Lin’s assistants of attacking him during the scuffle.
KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) cut his wrist during the standoff. His injury was purportedly caused by a sheet of glass in one of the chamber’s doors that had been broken during the confrontation.
DPP and KMT lawmakers ran for the speaker’s rostrum once the chamber’s doors opened for yesterday’s meeting, but KMT lawmakers were quicker, allowing them to freeze the proceedings for the rest of the day.
KMT lawmakers then overturned three podiums, damaging monitors fitted in them.
Five lawmakers from the Taiwan People’s Party later entered the chamber to join their KMT counterparts in chanting: “Abolish the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan,” and “Retract the nominations.”
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Several KMT lawmakers lay on a driveway at the Legislative Yuan’s back door on Qingdao E Road in an attempt to stop Chen from entering the chamber, but Chen entered by the side door on Zhenjiang Street and was escorted into the chamber by police.
Seeing that the meeting had been stymied, Chen left the legislature at about 11:30am.
About 200 protesters also gathered outside the Legislative Yuan to protest Chen’s nomination. They later marched to the Control Yuan in an attempt to continue their protest there, but were evicted by police, as they had not obtained permission for a demonstration.
As of press time last night, the legislative chamber was still controlled by the KMT caucus.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) in a statement said that the lawmakers’ assistants who were involved in the scuffle had seriously affected lawmakers’ right to exercise their authority.
To ensure lawmakers’ safety and that they can duly exercise their authority as mandated by the Constitution, the assistants who took part in the scuffle would be reported to the police, he said.
Lin said that physical contact was inevitable during the chaos.
The physical contact was unintentional and should not be scrutinized, he added, calling on people to focus on the larger issue.
Chen later said she regretted not being able to deliver her report and posted its transcript on Facebook.
Stating that she understands that abolishing the Control Yuan has become a public consensus, she wrote that she would shoulder the responsibility of pushing forward a transition in the political system, as long as lawmakers arrive at that conclusion through constitutional reform.
Until then, she would ensure that the branch operates in a non-partisan manner and is insulated from any undue influence when discharging its duties of impeachment and censure, she added.
Regarding the Control Yuan president’s role as the chair of the National Human Rights Commission, Chen wrote that she would offer the Executive Yuan and lawmakers advice on legislation relating to the protection of human rights, and ensure that the concept of human rights is instilled in government agencies at all levels.
As for accusations of corruption leveled against her by the KMT, Chen wrote that other than being imprisoned as a political prisoner after the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident, she had been clean-handed throughout her political career and had never once faced impeachment.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even