It’s fair to say that negotiations over a controversial infrastructure shakeup in Taiwan are not going so well.
For the second day in a row a mass brawl broke out in parliament as tempers boiled over.
MPs abandoned rational debate in favour of wielding chairs above their heads, and even began flinging water balloons at each other.
It happened just 24 hours after two politicians came to blows and tried to strangle each other in dramatic fashion on live TV.
Premier Lin Chuan was prevented from delivering his report on the budget yesterday after a water balloon was thrown towards him and he left the chamber, with the session called to a halt.
Lin stood on the sidelines again today, unable to start speaking as chaos erupted around him.
Opposition lawmakers raised large padded office chairs above their heads, surrounding the podium and tussling with rival legislators to prevent Lin from presenting the report as more water balloons were thrown.
The session was promptly suspended.
One lawmaker was sent to the parliament’s clinic after falling ill during the brawl.
Outside the building, the Kuomintang’s acting chairman Lin Jung-tzer led a group of legislators and protesters, chanting, “Send back the budget, defend Taiwan!”
Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, has put forward proposals for light rail lines, flood control measures and green energy facilities across the island.
But the opposition Kuomintang party is against the project, saying it favours cities and counties faithful to Tsai’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and has been devised to secure support for the party ahead of next year’s regional elections.
Yesterday DPP lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying, 46, clashed with KMT MP Hsu Shu-hua, 41.
The two women scuffled and Chiu was even slapped across the face, leaving President of the Legislative Yuan, Su Chia-chyuan, repeatedly calling for calm and order.
Critics have also questioned the whopping 420 billion TWD (£10.7 billion) cost of the project.
President Tsai has seen her popularity plummet to under 40 percent from nearly 70 percent when she took office in May last year as her government attempts to tackle a range of divisive issues from gay marriage to pension and judicial reforms.
Violent protests erupted outside the parliament in April when opponents of pension reforms attacked politicians and scuffled with police, prompting Tsai to call for calm and restraint.
Parliament was also plunged into chaos late last year when opposing lawmakers brawled in the chamber, as labour activists set off smoke bombs outside in protest at proposed holiday cuts.
Source: Daily Mail