Fighting broke out in Taiwan's parliament on Monday as lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) broke through barricades erected by the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) who had occupied it to protest against government "tyranny".
More than 20 KMT lawmakers had occupied the legislature on Sunday night, blocking entry to the main chamber with chains and chairs, saying the government was trying to force through legislation and demanding the president withdraw the nomination of a close aide to a high-level watchdog.
Late on Monday morning, DPP lawmakers pulled down the barricades and forced their way in, surrounding the main podium where their KMT opposite numbers had holed up.
There were scuffles and shouting as the KMT, including its youthful new chairman Johnny Chiang, struggled to hold their position. Chiang eventually left the podium, appearing to be pulled out a side door.
The KMT, trounced in January's parliamentary and presidential elections, began its protest in parliament late on Sunday.
It said it was protesting against the DPP and President Tsai Ing-wen's forcing though of bills and Tsai's nomination of her senior aide Chen Chu to head the Control Yuan, a government watchdog.
"This year, the Tsai administration has become more tyrannical than before," the KMT said in a statement. "Tsai's obstinacy had left the KMT with no alternative but to occupy the Legislative Yuan for a parliamentary boycott."
The DPP has a large parliamentary majority.
Both the DPP and the presidential office condemned the action, with the DPP saying the KMT was orchestrating a "farce".
"This is simply trampling on the respect of their own members of parliament," the DPP said. (Reuters)