Pandemonium broke out in the Jordanian parliament during a heated debate on controversial constitutional reforms.
On Wednesday, several MPs were discussing a draft amendment, adding the Arabic female noun for a Jordanian citizen into the constitution section on equal rights.
But some MPs branded the draft as “useless” following which a heated debate ensued in the House of Representatives in Jordan’s capital Amman, which was broadcast live on Al-Mamlaka television channel.
The brawl had erupted between Deputy Suleiman Abu Yahya and parliament House Speaker Abdul Karim Dughmi, according to reports.
Things further escalated when Yahya accused Dughmi of being “unable to run the show” and claimed he knew “nothing”.
The live footage on state media showed the MPs trading punches while one deputy fell to the ground as others shouted in chaotic scenes that lasted a few minutes, forcing the session to be adjourned until Thursday.
“There was a verbal shouting match that turned into a fist-fighting by several deputies. The behaviour is unacceptable to our people and harms our country’s reputation,” Reuters quoted Khalil Atiyeh, a member of parliament who witnessed the session, a saying.
Among other constitutional reforms to be discussed are the creation of a “National Security Council”, and the halving of the house speaker’s mandate to one year from the current two-year terms.
The kingdom’s constitution, introduced in 1952, has been amended 29 times, with the monarch’s powers increasing at the expense of the legislature, according to experts.
(With inputs from agencies)