Taiwan lights up with controversial legislative reforms

Taiwan lights up with controversial legislative reforms
Taiwan lights up with controversial legislative reforms

The members of the Taiwanese parliament They staged an intense confrontation, which included physical attacks and insults, over the opposition’s attempt to approve a series of reforms that would give the Legislature greater power of control. control over the government. These disputes lasted for more than twelve hours and culminated at midnight on Saturday, when the president of the Legislative Yuan (Parliament), Han Kuo-yu, chose to end the session and postpone the vote on the amendments to next Tuesday.

The intention to address these reforms took place just a few days before the elected president and current vice president of TaiwanWilliam Lai (Lai Ching-te), assumes the position of president under the watchful eye of China, which considers the island a “rebellious province.” A marathon day The opposition, which has 62 of the 113 seats in Parliament, intends to grant greater powers of control to the Legislature over the Government with several initiatives, including a controversial regulation that could sanction officials who lie in parliamentary seats.

The main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), in collusion with the minority People’s Party of Taiwan (PPT) and two other independent legislators, asserted its majority to try to approve its version of the reforms directly in second reading, ignoring the request of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (PDP) to review them line by line. The conflict started even before the beginning of the session: several opposition legislators had been camping since Wednesday in front of the Legislative headquarters to ensure that the PDP parliamentarians They could not enter first and modify the agenda.

After several brawls at the entrances to the building, the session began early in the morning, but chaos quickly took over the room, with legislators from the ruling party and the opposition exchanging hitting, pushing and insults on more than one occasion. The negotiations between the groups ran parallel to Dantesque scenes, including the one starring the PDP legislator Kuo Kuo-wen, who at one point in the afternoon snatched the bill documents to the general secretary of the Legislative Yuan, Chou Wan-lai, and ran out of the room to obstruct the process.

Almost at the end of the day, which passed between tensions and constant breaks, six legislators – five from the PDP and one from the KMT – left the Chamber to receive hospital care and hundreds of people, mostly young people, met spontaneously in the around the building to protest what happened. “Under the enormous resources and pressure of the ruling party, the KMT and PPT group persisted in fighting until the end, surviving threats and intimidation and taking the first step in parliamentary reform,” said KMT group leader Fu Kun-chi after the end of the session.

The president-elect, of the PDP, expressed his “concern” for the Legislative Yuan and for the “future” of Taiwan early Saturday, while expressing his “condolences” to the parliamentarians who were injured. «In the face of the unfair procedure of the Legislature, we have all fought until the last minute, demonstrating our firm will to defend democracy“Lai stated on his official Facebook account. «With less than two days left until my inauguration, I would like to tell all my compatriots that I will respect the Constitution and fulfill the duties that the people have entrusted to me.

“I also hope that rational discussions between the parties in Parliament will return, so that harmony can be restored in the functioning of the Legislature and the greatest possible consensus can be reached,” he stressed. Lai, considered as a «independentist” and a “troublemaker» for China, will become the fifth democratically elected president of Taiwan next Monday, replacing the current president, Tsai Ing-wen, who will leave office after eight years as president. However, the PDP has lost its parliamentary majority and the opposition is trying to impose its agenda on several sensitive issues, such as the attempt to stop increases in electricity prices or the promotion of an infrastructure plan valued at 2 billion. of Taiwanese dollars (62 billion dollars, 57.1 billion euros).

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