AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
KIEV: Opposition lawmakers are blocking the Ukrainian Parliament a day after a brawl in the chamber that sent one legislator to the hospital.
The melee was sparked by a proposed bill to make Russian an official language in eastern regions of the country where native Russian-speakers predominate. Lawmakers grappled and threw punches; one was hospitalised with a head injury.
Earlier today, deputies opposed to the bill blocked the Parliament speaker’s podium, preventing the session from starting, while some 200 demonstrators held a noisy protest against the bill outside the building.
Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said the brawl had “completely destroyed” the legislative process and called for new elections. But most parties do not support an emergency poll, because regular elections are set for October.