A parliamentarian brawl? Yemenis less than proud of their fighting MPs

Published January 19th, 2013 - 03:34 GMT
A fight in Yemen's parliament has caused some consternation amongst the population.
A fight in Yemen's parliament has caused some consternation amongst the population.

 Tuesday’s heated altercation in Parliament between the head of the General People’s Congress (GPC) parliamentary bloc, Sultan Al-Barakani and the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Dr. Mohammed Al-Asa’adi provoked critics to question Parliament’s performance.

Abdul-Karim Al-Aslami, an independent parliamentarian, told the Yemen Times that parliament is not fulfilling its required role due to events like this.  He says there is too much conflict and division between members.

“Instead of being a place for finding solutions for the country’s problems, it has become a place for igniting conflicts and problems,” he said.

The fight broke out while discussing the state budget for the 2013 fiscal year.  Al-Barakani accused Al-Sa’adi of misusing international funds.

The two officials began hurling notebooks and pens at each other according Yemen Parliament Watch, an independent organization that monitors Parliamentarians.  The quarreling men had to be separated by colleagues the organization said.

 “Many members of Parliament do not represent people, but instead represent the powerful that put them in their position,” Al-Aslami said. “Those members came to Parliament through the former regime. The people haven’t chosen them.”

In past sessions, Parliament has witnessed much stagnation and conflicts between members.

Hafez Al-Bukari, head of the Yemen Polling Center (YPC), said Parliament has lost the trust of Yemenis.

“[Parliament] has turned to a field for a conflict between political powers,” he said. “Members of Parliament haven’t played a supervisory and legislative role.”

He added, “During the revolution, we thought that the performance of Parliament would improve, but what happened is the opposite.”

Neither Al-Barakani nor Al-Sa’adi have issued statements regarding the incident.

Tell us what you think. What do you think of the violence? Is it time they sorted it out or are you not that bothered and glad they at least have passion?

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