Opposition Politicians Dragged From Meeting
Dec. 25, 1988
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Ten opposition members of Parliament were dragged from a conference hall on Sunday after they stood on chairs and complained about policemen taking seats reserved for the presidium.
Irwine Ho, secretary-general of the assembly, said the unprecedented removal was necessary because the politicians were trying to disrupt the meeting.
The disruption began when Tsai Shih-yuan of the Democratic Progressive Party and his colleagues found plain-clothed security guards sitting in front of them in the assembly hal.
They yelled that the guards were taking up seats reserved for the presidium. Standing on their chairs, they shouted that the guards should leave the hall or they would stop the meeting.
About 40 policemen ran into the noisy hall, grabbed Tsai and nine other opposition members and put them in two seperate rooms.
One of those expelled, Huang Tsao-hui, smashed windows of the room he was kept in and shouted that the governing Nationalist Party had arrested them illegally.
Earlier, opposition members were barred from carrying into the hall a banner reading ''New President, New Parliament.'' They said they wanted to challenge President Lee Teng-hui in the meeting to discuss when all seats in the Parliament can be open to elections.
The opposition has been urging the retirement of old lawmakers and assemblymen to clear the way for national elections.
More than two-thirds of the National Assembly's 894 members were elected on the Chinese mainland before the Nationalists lost a civil war to the Communists and fled to Taiwan in 1949.
The octogenarians have been frozen in office to support the Nationalists' claim to represent all China.
Many of the elderly assemblymen have said they would not accept a proposal that has been put forward under which they would voluntarily retire and get a pension.