Jordan MPs brawl in parliament over constitution amendment
The session was set to discuss draft amendments to the constitution, proposed by the cabinet, including an amendment that would better represent women.
Speaker Abdul Karim Al-Daghmi was forced to adjourn the session after verbal exchanges escalated into a fistfight, which was captured by TV cameras.
The melee began after a heated discussion, in which speaker Al-Daghmi confronted MP Suleiman Abu Yahya by telling him: "You’re adding fuel to the fire".
Abu Yahya told the speaker he "knew nothing". Al-Daghmi responded by telling him to "shut up and get out."
As the chaos unfurled, Al-Daghmi decided to adjourn the legislative session until Wednesday morning.
Women and human rights organisations protested while the meeting took place, calling for the amendment of an article in the Jordanian constitution to cancel any discriminatory texts.
اعتصمت الثلاثاء هيئات ومنظمات نسائية وحقوقية مؤيدة لتعديل المادة السادسة من الدستور وإضافة نص عدم التمييز على أساس الجنس، وقالت ناشطات في حقوق المرأة إن ١١ دولة عربية إسلامية ينص دستورها على عدم التمييز على أساس الجنس، وأن لا بديل عن المساواة على أساس المواطنة. pic.twitter.com/7q3HECCtm6— Mohammed al Ersan (@JournalistErsan) December 28, 2021
The protesters argued that the constitutions of at least 11 Arab Islamic states stipulate non-discrimination on the basis of sex, adding that there was no alternative to equality between citizens.
Numerous scuffles have occurred in Jordan's parliament over the years.
In September 2013, a lawmaker fired an AK-47 inside the building, but no one was hurt.
While parliament can vote on legislation, Jordan's King Abdullah II holds ultimate authority in the country.