May 8 (UPI) -- Lawmakers in Hong Kong broke out in a scuffle Friday as they fought over who would take control of a committee.
The Guardian reported the fighting started at the conclusion of a meeting in which legislators on Hong Kong's Legislative Council were unable to agree on who should be the new committee chair.
After the meeting was over, the incumbent chairwoman, Starry Lee, approached the chairperson's seat, where she expected to sit for the new committee session as it was beginning to start.
Security guards surrounded Lee, a member of the pro-Beijing DAB Party, as members of her own party and the pro-democracy Civic Party crowded in.
The Hong Kong Free Press said lawmaker Eddie Chu, a member of the pro-democracy Land Justice League attempted to climb over a wall to reach the chair. Security officials physically carried him out of the Legislative Council's meeting room.
Lee told pro-democracy lawmakers they were banished from the meeting place.
"I am still the chairperson of the house committee," she said. "There is no such [claim] that I have no power to chair the meeting."
Dennis Kwok, deputy chairman and member of the Civic Party, has presided over the House committee since October since Lee was running for re-election. Beijing accused Kwok and other pro-democracy leaders of delaying the election of a new chairperson.