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Middle East
Jordanian officials scuffle in parliament
Parliamentary officials came to blows over a heated debate regarding a draft electoral law.
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2012 01:46
Officials in parliament traded insults and fists during a debate regarding the draft election law in Jordan [Al Jazeera]

Jordan's parliament session was adjourned on Sunday after legislators scuffled during a heated debate over an election draft law.

The incident occured as tensions rise within parliament while MPs are discussing the draft election law for a final approval before the end of their ordinary session on June 25.

Monarchist lawmaker Yahya Saud traded insults and fists with Jamil Nimri, who proposed amendments to raise the number of seats reserved for candidates who run on party lists, a move designed to boost opposition parties.

Calm was restored after security officers restrained Saud, who is known for his verbal outbursts.

Nimri and 20 other MPs vowed to resign if parliament does not overhaul the proposed law, which critics say favours candidates loyal to the regime.

They want citizens to be able to select two candidates at the local district level and raise the number of seats allocated through national proportional representation from 17 to 30 in the 140-seat parliament.

Critics say the proposed law is undemocratic and contradicts pledges by King Abdullah II to introduce political reforms.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan's largest opposition movement, as well as several leftist parties have indicated that they will boycott a parliamentary election in December if the law is approved.

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