Fistfight Breaks Out in Turkish Parliament

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Turkish lawmakers brawl in parliament

Turkish lawmakers have brawled in parliament amid a marathon debate on changing electoral legislation ahead on 2019’s upcoming votes.

Opposition parties said they had concerns about election security, but the 26-article bill was approved by lawmakers from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party supported by the ultra-nationalists of the MHP.

The new law allows parties to form pre-election alliances but keep their individual logos of ballot papers.

More controversially, unstamped ballot papers will be regarded a valid — an issue which dogged the narrow victory for Erdogan in the country’s constitutional referendum granting him more powers in April last year.

Turkish officials will also be able to move ballot boxes for security concerns and merge constituencies. The opposition are also concerned that private security, police and other armed officials will be able to enter voting centers.

At one point ultra-nationalist lawmakers confronted an opposition member of the secular  Republican People’s Party (CHP) while he gave a speech. Hurriyet Daily News reports that the brawl continued outside the debating chamber.