A heated debate on the appointment of the new speaker for Somalia's parliament has turned physical when a fistfight broke out and rival lawmakers punched each other, Press TV reports.
Chaos erupted in the parliament on Wednesday when legislators loyal to ousted Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden and opponents got into a bitter argument as they were attending a session. Dozens of lawmakers then exchanged punches and threw chairs at each other.
The fistfight comes a day after more than 280 lawmakers decided to remove Sheikh Aden, who is currently on a visit to Italy, and nominate Madobe Nunow as the new speaker of Somalia's transitional parliament.
The legislators accused the ousted parliament speaker of making unilateral decisions, disregarding authority granted to all branches of the government, failing to develop a plan for implantation of parliament's bills, and lack of accountability.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Abdiweli Sheikh Ibrahim Mudey refused to chair the parliamentary session on Tuesday, and called on Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to deal with the crisis.
President Sheikh Ahmed, in a presidential decree on Wednesday, called on the Somali lawmakers to put aside political discords and assist the transitional federal government in its fight against nationwide militancy.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.