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Fist fights disrupt Ukraine parliament

Eish!

Kiev - Violent scuffles broke out Thursday in the Ukrainian parliament as dozens of opposition and pro-government lawmakers brawled for a second day in a chamber notorious for its physical confrontations.

Deputies in suits and shirtsleeves climbed on tables, shouted and grappled with opponents as a protest against the practice of lawmakers voting for absentee colleagues descended into violence.

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Ukrainian lawmakers fight around the rostrum during the first session of Ukraine's newly elected parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Ukraines newly elected parliament has chosen a pro-government speaker amid violent brawls between pro-presidential and opposition lawmakers. On Thursday, opposition lawmakers swarmed the parliaments presidium and a fight erupted with pro-government legislators. The opposition demanded that their opponents stop voting in place of their absent colleagues. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

The parliament's opening session on Wednesday also saw fighting erupt between opposition lawmakers and deputies whom they accused of defecting to the pro-government camp.

The fighting postponed a vote on reinstating as prime minister President Viktor Yanukovych's ally, Mykola Azarov, which was due to take place Thursday. - AFP

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