Documenting some of the infamous parliamentary brawls over the last decade.
Last week, a scuffle broke out in the Jordanian parliament during a heated argument over proposed reforms to the country’s constitution.
Footage of the brawl that took place on December 28 quickly went viral. The chaos was triggered when a discussion over constitutional amendments, one which involved women’s rights, escalated.
The fracas resurfaced memories of parliamentary incidents globally that have made many a headline. (2015 seems to be the golden year of parliamentary violence.)
Here are some of the most memorable times when politicians tossed aside civility and turned violent, as their constituents looked on in bemusement and disbelief.
A massive fight in Armenia’s parliament saw lawmakers hurling objects across the floor of the house as chaos broke out after an opposition party member was beaten by pro-government lawmakers.
The opposition members threw water bottles at a speaker from the ruling party which sparked a brawl, forcing the speaker to pause the session and call security.
Punches and water balloons were thrown inside the Taiwanese parliament over the disputed nomination by President Tsai Ing-wen of a senior aide to a top government watchdog post, which the main opposition Kuomintang party (KMT) regarded as cronyism.
South Africa (2016)
Party leader Julius Malema and members of his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) clashed with parliamentary security after attempting to prevent an address by President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town. EFF members would be forcibly expelled from the chamber.
Lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) dueled it out during a parliamentary debate in Ankara over an AK Party proposal to strip legislators of their immunity from prosecution.
Violence erupted over an EU-brokered dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, as Kosovo’s opposition members used tear gas and pepper spray in parliament. Pink paint and rocks were also pelted at police officials.
A heated debate between MPs turned into a brawl over Nepal’s new constitution. Chairs, microphones and shoes became weapons of choice as opposition politicians tried to block the government from pushing through a draft of a new constitution.
Fighting erupted in the Ukrainian parliament after Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk was unceremoniously pulled away from the podium in a way few human adults have likely experienced.
The same year, a fistfight broke out in the halls of parliament over disagreement on a corruption bill. Judging by the incident, Ukraine might just have professional fighters who moonlight as politicians.
A vote over a security bill that would see the military fight abroad for the first time since World War II saw lawmakers storm the Japanese parliamentary chamber as a physical altercation ensued and members climbed over desks to exchange punches and clobber each other.
It technically wasn’t a brawl, but hard to leave off the list. A disagreement between Jordanian MPs resulted in one member, Talal Al Sharif, firing an AK-47 assault rifle – yes, an AK-47 – at a fellow MP Qusay Dmisa during a parliamentary session.
While Dmisa was not injured, Al Sharif was arrested and a special session was later held to examine the incident.