Members of the opposition pelted the speaker's podium with shoes, microphones and ashtrays Friday as legislators brawled on the floor of Parliament.
One member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party was knocked unconscious and another broke a rib. Police said 11 officers were treated for scratches and bruises suffered while breaking up the melee.Brawls among members of the ruling National Party and the opposition are a common spectacle in the Parliament and in the National Assembly, the electoral college that elects the country's president. Friday's fight was especially rough.
It broke out when DPP member Chang Chun-hsiung slapped the 70-year-old parliament speaker, Liang Su-yung, on the face. Liang slapped Chang back, and they grappled and tumbled to the floor.
Liang made it back to the podium and tried to restore order from behind plastic shields held by security guards. Opposition member Lu Hsiu-yu ripped out a microphone and threw it at the speaker.
Other opposition legislators then began hurling their shoes and ashtrays at the plastic shields around Liang and shouted for him to resign.
After order was restored, Chang said he had slapped Liang "only gently" to show the opposition's disapproval of the way he has handled legislative meetings since becoming speaker last year.