Afghan legislators brawled over the appointment of a new speaker as the assembly sat for the first time since elections were held in October. One man even brandished a large knife as security chased him through the chamber.
Video footage from the assembly shows chaos as lawmakers fought about the decision. Members surround the speaker’s seat to block it when suddenly one parliamentarian is seen running around with a large knife as other MPs and guards try to stop him.
What is going in Afghan parliament ? disputes on speaker spot, pic.twitter.com/aE9uCZ9d3L
— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) May 19, 2019
Businessman Mir Rahman Rahmani ran for the speakership but didn’t win a majority. He was declared a winner by his supporters, though, angering opponents who said he hadn’t secured the required 124 votes.
Herat MP Nahid Farid said: “He has secured a majority of the votes and one vote is not an issue, so he is our new chairman.”
The results of the election were only finalized in May following technical problems and accusations of fraud.
“We will never accept the new speaker and there must be re-election with new candidates,” insisted Mariam Sama, a lawmaker from Kabul.