Brawl erupts in SKorean parliament
SEOUL: Hundreds of competing lawmakers screamed and wrestled in South Korea’s parliament today as a rivalry over contentious media reform bills descended into a brawl that sent at least one to a hospital.
Lawmakers from the ruling Grand National Party occupied the speaker’s podium in a bid to quickly pass the bills aimed at easing restrictions on ownership of television networks. Opposition parties responded by stacking up furniture to block ruling party members from entering the main hall of the National Assembly.
The parliament plunged into chaos, as lawmakers scuffled and shouted abuse at each other. Women lawmakers from the rival parties joined in the melee, grabbing each other by the neck and trying to bring opponents to the floor.
YTN television network reported some were injured. One woman lawmaker was seen lying on a blue mattress with nurses checking her blood pressure. The lawmaker was later taken to a hospital, YTN said.
The scenes were not unusual to South Korea’s politics. Last year, opposition lawmakers used sledgehammers to pound their way into a parliamentary committee room to block the ruling party from introducing a bill to ratify a free trade pact with the United States.