Thursday, February 23, 2012

MPs exchange punches


A DISAGREEMENT in parliament yesterday ended with a brawl outside the debating chamber, leaving Sumkar MP Ken Fairweather nursing a bloody face, The National reports.
 Housing Minister Fairweather and Middle Ramu MP Ben Semri, a former fisheries minister now sitting with deposed prime minister Sir Michael Somare’s group in the middle benches, had a heated exchange over the lack of services for the people. Both represent electorates in Madang province.
It was sparked off when Fairweather interrupted Semri’s speech to parliament.
Semri was speaking on issues involving Middle Ramu Block One, saying his people needed services when  Fairweather broke in to ask what he was going to deliver to the people in Middle Ramu.
Semri made a rude hand gesture at Fairweather who responded by standing up and trying to remove his tie while calling Semri out for a fight before walking out of the chambers.
An angry Semri then shocked parliament when he shouted out: “You white bxxxxxd.”
Lae MP and Public Service Minister Bart Philemon raised a point of order and asked Semri to withdraw his unacceptable parliamentary language, which Semri did.
Deputy Speaker Francis Marus said leaders should be mindful not to use unparliamentary language.
Deputy Prime Minster Belden Namah also described the language as unprofessional and should not be used against each other by MPs.
Semri told parliament he had been angered because Fairweather had tried to remove his tie for a fight.
Fairweather returned to the chamber a few minutes later as parliament began voting on the bill to create 22 reserved seats for women.
Semri walked out of the chamber with other MPs who did not want to vote on the bill.
When parliament adjourned, Semri waited for Fairweather on the second floor of Parliament House and blindsided Fairweather with a punch which saw the Sumkar MP suffer a minor cut to his face.
Both men then removed their ties and exchanged punches for a couple of minutes before other MPs stepped in to separate the two members of parliament.
Earlier, an argument had also developed between Semri and Higher Education Minister David Arore but
was defused by other MPs

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