Insults and punches. On Tuesday, December 28, Jordanian parliamentarians presented a sad spectacle for this kingdom considered to be a relatively modern haven of peace. The origin of their altercation: an amendment to add the mention “women” to the Constitution.
The Jordanian Parliament was the scene, on Tuesday, December 28, of a lively exchange of insults and punches between several deputies. The object of their disagreement? A constitutional amendment providing for the inclusion of the mention “Jordanian women” in the title of the second chapter of the Constitution, relating to the rights and duties of citizens.
According to the Pan-Arab site Arab News, the chairman of the House legal committee, deputy Abdel Mounhim Oddat, was interrupted by several deputies as he tried to explain the reasons for this amendment, described by some parliamentarians as “Not necessary”, even of “shameful”.
The reform in question did not add “No new provision in the Constitution and only aimed at creating ‘linguistic equality’”, affirmed Mr. Oddat, booed and prevented from continuing his speech, according to Arab News.
“You can’t run the show”
The parliamentarian then asked the President of the House to adjourn the session until calm was restored, but the latter allegedly refused, urging another deputy to throw at him: “You can’t run the show, […] you know nothing” To do. Furious, the head of Parliament then told him: “Shut up and leave the room”, report Arab News.
It was then that the session took an unexpected turn, degenerating into altercations and exchanges of insults and violent punches.
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The brawl sparked a wave of reactions on social media, condemning the use of violence as well as the macho culture of anti-amendment MPs.
The Jordanian government has submitted a total of 30 constitutional amendments to the lower house, including the creation of a National Security and Foreign Policy Council headed by the monarch.
A coup attempt this summer prompted King Abdullah II to strengthen its prerogatives.