Politicians Wearing Face Masks Brawl On Parliament Floor
Social distancing went out the window as politicians -- some in protective face masks -- got into a physical altercation on the Armenian parliament floor on Friday.
The massive brawl reportedly broke out following a verbal altercation between politicians during the parliamentary session.
In vision captured from parliament, Edmon Marukyan, chairman of the opposition Bright Armenia party, is seen finishing his address when he is approached by Sasun Mikaelyan, a member of the ruling My Step Alliance and a fight breaks out between them.
Almost immediately, dozens of lawmakers begin physically fighting, with some wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
“I will speak up no matter how much you hit me,” Marukyan said when he took to the floor after the altercation, according to the Asbarez newspaper.
“Who was it that sneaked up and struck me in the back?” he reportedly asked, setting off another verbal stoush with Mikaelyan and his party.
The brawl -- which occurred in front of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan -- saw Marukyan condemn parliament deputies for angrily reacting to opposition criticism of the government.
Armenia is under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic until May 14.
Some restrictions on movement were lifted this week, and almost all businesses have reopened: shops, hair salons and museums.
There have been over 3000 coronavirus cases, with 43 people dying of the virus, to date.