Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2004-10-27 Reporter:

Arms Budget Sparks Parliamentary Food Fight



Independent Online

Date 2004-10-27

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Taipei - A food fight erupted in Taiwan's parliament on Tuesday as lawmakers quarrelling over a massive arms budget hurled their lunch boxes at each other.

"You've got no shame!" screamed Chu Fong-chih of the opposition Nationalist Party, after throwing a take-out box of chicken and rice at Chen Tsung-yi, a legislator from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party who backed the special budget.

Chen responded by accusing Chu of sympathising with Taiwan's arch-foe China, and flung his own lunch box at her.

Taiwan's parliament is notorious for fistfights, with many lawmakers enjoying the media attention when scuffles break out. Chairs and shoes have also been known to fly across the chamber on occasion.

Legislators were meeting on Tuesday to decide if a proposed $18-billion (about R110-billion) budget to buy weapons from the United States should be put on the legislative agenda for Friday.

With acknowledgements to Independent Online.