Footage captured a chaotic scene where members of the Maldives parliament traded kicks and fought with opposition lawmakers near the Speaker’s chair.
The session descended into chaos when the main Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) decided to withhold parliamentary approval for some members of President Mohamed Muizzu’s cabinet ahead of the key vote on the Cabinet, according to local media reports.
Subsequently, pro-government MPs initiated a protest, obstructing the parliamentary sitting from proceeding, the reports said.
Government MPs were seen disrupting the proceedings by blowing toy horns next to the speaker to stop him from addressing the special session.
This led to a physical fight between members near the speaker’s chair, while others shouted from the floor and the sounds of toy trumpets rang out.
Videos from inside the parliament on Sunday, Jan. 28, show Kanditheemu MP Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem and Kendhikulhudhoo MP Ahmed Easa engaging in a scuffle after Mr Hakeem knocked down Mr Easa.
Mr Hakeem sustained injuries on his head when two MPs fell near the chamber during the physical altercation. He was rushed to a nearby hospital in an ambulance for treatment.
The MDP defended Mr Hakeem’s actions during a press conference late on Sunday, calling it an act of self-defence.
“The actions of pro-government MPs left MDP MPs with no other option than to act in self-defence. That is how any human will react in such a situation,” MP Hisaan Hussain told reporters.
The microphones installed inside parliament were taken away to prevent the lawmakers from using them as weapons against each other during the brawl, according to Wion.
Another MP, Hassan Zareer, also sustained injuries on his fingers after being allegedly attacked by a member of MDP.
Following the scuffle, members and supporters of the ruling coalition staged a protest outside the parliament, demanding the approval of ministers.
The coalition has also filed a no-confidence motion against the speaker Mohamed Aslam and deputy speaker Ahmed Saleem.
Watch the video below.