Friday, July 17, 2020

Fight erupts inside and outside Taiwan parliament

Fighting erupted inside and outside of Taiwan’s parliament again on Friday over the disputed nomination by President Tsai Ing-wen of a senior aide to a top government watchdog post.

The main opposition party labelled the appointment cronyism.

The Kuomintang (KMT) has mounted a noisy campaign against the nomination of Chen Chu to head the Control Yuan, an independent government watchdog.

The KMT, soundly beaten by Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in elections in January, this week occupied parliament’s main chamber for three days, trying to thwart Chen from taking the post.

Several KMT lawmakers knocked down voting booths inside the chamber to block DPP legislators from casting ballots over the nomination.

KMT has accused the DPP of cheating in part of the vote on nomination this week.

The voting on Friday went ahead despite shouting and protests from KMT lawmakers, who held banners reading “invalid vote”.

About 100 KMT supporters outside parliament fought with police and some tried to break through barricades, calling on the DPP to withdraw the nomination.

“Rejection to cronyism. Withdraw the nomination,” KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang told supporters on the back of a truck outside the parliament.

Taiwan is a boisterous, sometimes unruly democracy. Punch-throwing and rowdy protests are not uncommon in parliament.