Debate on reforms sparks scuffles in Jordan parliament

Amman (AFP) – A live-streamed televised debate in Jordan's parliament on constitutional reforms including gender equality degenerated into scuffles between MPs on Tuesday, forcing the session to be adjourned.


A heated row -- amid much pushing and finger-wagging -- broke out between deputies and parliament speaker Abdelkarim al-Daghmi.

The argument erupted during a debate on an amendment adding the female noun for a Jordanian citizen, to a chapter in the constitution guaranteeing equal rights of all citizens.

Several MPs angrily disputed the amendment as "useless", in the session broadcast on Al-Mamlaka television channel.

Daghmi walked out and the session was adjourned to Wednesday.

Among other constitutional reforms to be discussed are the creation of a "National Security Council", and the halving of the house speaker's mandate to one year from the current two-year terms.

The kingdom's constitution, introduced in 1952, has been amended 29 times, with the monarch's powers increasing at the expense of the legislature, according to experts.