By Wael Jaraysheh
AMMONNEWS - Deputy Lower House Speaker Khalil Attiyah adjourned Wednesday's parliamentary session after tensions erupted during Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour's attempt to justify raising prices of fuel derivatives.
PM Ensour was responding to questions and comments posed by members of parliament, defending himself after an MP accused him of corruption and described him as "part of a gang of thieves in the country."
MP Zaid Shawabkeh repeatedly interrupted Ensour, hailing offensive comments at him, causing the PM to voice objection to the deputy House Speaker MP Attiyeh to scrap the comments from session minutes.
The verbal altercation escalated when MPs Nidal Hiyari and Shadi Odwan intervened to defend Ensour against Shawabkeh's accusations.
MP Khalil Attiyah adjourned the session, citing tensions that required postponing the session after he voiced an apology to Ensour on behalf of the Lower House over the MP's accusations.
MP Odwan's overreaction turned serious as he reached to a pistol he was carrying during his altercation with MP Shawabkeh.
The session was tense since it started, as MPs had voiced objection to having the Prime Minister attend the parliamentary session, especially that his speech was not part of the session's schedule.
In his response to MP questions, Ensour attempted to justify the government's decision to raise prices of fuel derivatives for the month of March, stating that his government does not intend to retract from its decision.
Ensour noted that the decision to re-instate government subsidies on fuel derivatives in 2011 costed the state JD 1.5 billion in the past two years.
PM Ensour and members of his cabinet left the House building leaving behind a debacle between MPs that almost reached physical attacks.
Two MPs, Khaled Hiyari and Nidal Hiyari, clashed following the session, exchanging verbal offenses before an aid to MP Khalid Hiyari attacked MP Nidal Hiyari, causing him a minor injury.
MP Nidal Hiyari was taken to the hospital for a check up.
Ammon News learned that the news of the fiasco at parliament today quickly reached House Speaker Saad Hayel Srour, who is on a work visit to Turkey among a delegation accompanying King Abdullah II.
MP Srour voiced his concern over the incident especially that he had initially asked for postponing the session, but his deputy MP Attiyeh insisted on holding it on Wednesday.
Measures to contain the incident on Wednesday evening prompted a number of MPs to go in a delegation headed by former House Speaker Abdul Karim Doghmi to MP Nidal Hiyari's house in Salt to apologize for the incident.
MPs met at Doghmi's house in the presence of Public Security Directorate official Brigadier General Fadel Hmoud.
Meanwhile, other MPs are attempting to contain the tensions between MP Zayd Shawabkeh and MP Shadi Odwan, who clashed as the latter attempted to defend the Prime Minister against Shawabkeh's accusations.
* Videos and photos by Mohammad Abo Hmaed/Ammon News