The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours.
The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president.
The KMT caucus asked whether Chen was qualified, given that during her tenure as Kaohsiung mayor from 2006 to 2018, the Control Yuan launched 58 investigations into her team, including 30 cases of corrective measures and three impeachments.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
The KMT lawmakers blocked entry to the main chamber with chairs and chains, but their occupation ended at about 11:15am when DPP legislators broke the chains with bolt cutters.
DPP and KMT legislators scuffled for about an hour before the KMT lawmakers retreated.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) entered the chamber at about 12:20pm, while KMT legislators shouted chants calling for the withdrawal of Chen’s nomination.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
The DPP caucus proposal to hold an extraordinary session from yesterday to July 22 passed 46-28.
The DPP caucus’ proposals to vote on the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan nominations, on Friday next week and July 17 respectively, also passed.
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that it is impossible for the caucus to accept KMT lawmakers’ demand that Chen’s nomination be dropped, and he accused the KMT of resorting to an “attack approach” with baseless accusations against Chen.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Speaking to reporters outside the legislative chamber at about 1pm, KMT Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) accused DPP lawmakers of seizing him by the neck during a scuffle inside.
Hung asked if Tsai, who doubles as DPP chairperson, approved of what he described as “homicidal violent behavior” by DPP lawmakers and called on her to apologize.
KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) condemned DPP lawmakers’ actions against Hung on behalf of the KMT caucus, adding that Sunday’s occupation was “just the beginning,” and KMT lawmakers would continue to “stand on the side of the people” and “defend democracy [and] justice.”
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Speaking to supporters from a raised platform on a truck parked outside the Legislative Yuan, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that KMT lawmakers are prepared to return to the legislative chamber “anytime.”
The sides of the truck were covered with posters printed with the words, “Democracy is dead” and “Tyranny must die.”
At about 3:30pm, KMT lawmakers attempted to take over the podium inside the legislative chamber, but were blocked by DPP legislators.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
DPP Legislator Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said that to ensure that the extraordinary session runs smoothly, DPP lawmakers would take turns standing guard outside the legislative chamber.
Additional reporting by CNA, Lin Liang-sheng and Hsieh Chun-lin
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