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PHOTO ESSAY/Ruling, opposition parties continue to fight over reform bill review

05/24/2024 11:27 PM
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DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming takes the podium to speak on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming takes the podium to speak on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) on Friday continued to fight over the reform bill review.

Both sides held press conferences outside the Legislature in an attempt to either deliver or explain their respective messages to the public.

At 9 a.m., the DPP held up signs outside the Legislature condemning the ongoing military exercise being conducted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) around Taiwan, while calling for peace and defense of democracy.

DPP legislative caucus secretary-general Wu Szu-yao (吳思瑤) said the military exercise initiated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seeks to assert pressure and intimidate the people of Taiwan.

DPP lawmaker Hung Sun-han (洪申翰) added that he found the timing of the PLA exercise to be very peculiar, as it was initiated at a time when the TPP in partnership with fellow opposition party the KMT decided to threaten Taiwan's democracy with their proposed parliamentary reform bills.

Hung said as a responsible ruling party, the DPP has the responsibility to act to safeguard the interest of Taiwan and condemn acts that would destroy Taiwan's democracy involving the CCP and anti-democratic bodies in Taiwan itself.

DPP legislators hold signs condemning the ongoing military exercise being conducted by the PLA around Taiwan, while calling for peace and defense of democracy. CNA photo May 24, 2024
DPP legislators hold signs condemning the ongoing military exercise being conducted by the PLA around Taiwan, while calling for peace and defense of democracy. CNA photo May 24, 2024

Meanwhile, TPP and KMT lawmakers arrived outside of the Legislature as early as 5:30 a.m.

The TPP held a presser outside the Legislature before the session began to deliver a message.

Led by TPP caucus convener Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), the party's legislators held up signs with QR codes for any interested members of the general public to scan.

On top of the codes was an invitation from the TPP to scan the codes and access a TPP-created Google documents site which contains various files and folders explaining the TPP and KMT proposed parliamentary reform bills.

KMT lawmakers amass outside of the Legislature early Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
KMT lawmakers amass outside of the Legislature early Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
TPP lawmakers hold up signs containing QR codes that are links to the party's Google documents site containing various files and folders explaining the TPP and KMT proposed parliamentary reform bills. CNA photo May 24, 2024
TPP lawmakers hold up signs containing QR codes that are links to the party's Google documents site containing various files and folders explaining the TPP and KMT proposed parliamentary reform bills. CNA photo May 24, 2024

After the start of the review session, lawmakers from both sides first fought over where they would hang their respective banners and signs which again led to physical altercations.

Legislators then argued over the proposed amendments, resulting in only four articles being passed by 11:55 a.m.

KMT and TPP lawmakers surround Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu inside the Legislator on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
KMT and TPP lawmakers surround Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu inside the Legislator on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
DPP Legislators release balloons in the colors of blue, white and black to display their displeasure at the proceedings inside the Legislature. CNA photo May 24, 2024
DPP Legislators release balloons in the colors of blue, white and black to display their displeasure at the proceedings inside the Legislature. CNA photo May 24, 2024

Meanwhile, as lawmakers argued in the Legislature, large numbers amassed outside the Legislative Yuan.

Although the crowd was made up of both supporters and protestors of the reforms, the latter clearly had larger numbers.

51 year-old Charles Hsu, who has been suffering from cerebral palsy since birth, said that he wants to “protect Taiwan’s democracy” by joining the protest outside the legislature on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
51 year-old Charles Hsu, who has been suffering from cerebral palsy since birth, said that he wants to “protect Taiwan’s democracy” by joining the protest outside the legislature on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
Ian Rowen (first right), an associate professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages, and Literature, brings his students to observe the protest outside the legislature on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
Ian Rowen (first right), an associate professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages, and Literature, brings his students to observe the protest outside the legislature on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
Liao Sheng-fang travels all the way from the southern city Tainan to Taipei to show support for the parliamentary reform bills on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024
Liao Sheng-fang travels all the way from the southern city Tainan to Taipei to show support for the parliamentary reform bills on Friday. CNA photo May 24, 2024

By 9 p.m., the organizers of the protest, made up of over 50 groups, claimed around 100,000 people gathered against the reform bills.

Protestors amass to protest the TPP and KMT proposed parliamentary reform bills. CNA photo May 24, 2024
Protestors amass to protest the TPP and KMT proposed parliamentary reform bills. CNA photo May 24, 2024

(By Lin Ching-yin, Liu Kuan-ting, Kuo Chien-shen and James Lo)

Enditem/AW

Update

● Amendment criminalizing contempt of Legislature passes into law

● Third reading of major part of 'legislative reform' bills passed

● Taiwan lawmakers have passed contentious reform bills. Now what?

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