Adding to the already bruised reputation of Indonesian politicians, two legislative candidates from different parties physically attacked each other moments before they were scheduled to hold a live debate on TV on Tuesday night.
The incident comes during a dark time for the country's politicians, many of whom are implicated in corruption cases.
Djoko Edhi Abdulrahman, a politician of the United Development Party (PPP), became enraged after Bahrudin Dahlan of the National Mandate Party (PAN) accused him of being a broker for people wanting to become legislative candidates representing the PPP.
The clash broke out minutes before the start of a talk show hosted by private broadcaster TV One, in which the politicians were to debate.
Bahrudin, who had arrived earlier at the studio in Wisma Nusantara Building, Central Jakarta, was attacked without warning by Djoko.
Djoko retaliated by punching Bahrudin in the face several times in secession.
The fight was stopped by TV One crew members, who separated the politicians before placing them in separate rooms.
The talk show was delayed 20 minutes, and when it was broadcast live, Djoko, who appeared on screen, spoke to Bahrudin, who was offscreen, on the telephone.
At the outset of their dialog, the combatants exchanged a series of profanities.
Later, Djoko yelled: "Do you have any proof that I serve as a broker for legislative candidates?".
Bahrudin shouted back, "I have evidence and witnesses. Just watch me in the court."
He told Djoko to be beware as he knew every wrongdoing he had ever committed.
"Ha ha ha, you're so good, aren't you?" Djoko replied.
After the talk show, Bahrudin reported Djoko to the Central Jakarta Police for assault, while the latter filed a complaint of defamation with the Jakarta Police headquarters.
Bahrudin made national headlines recently when he resigned from the PPP to join the PAN, citing his disappointed with the PPP for requiring its cadres to pay up to Rp 2 billion for their names to be put on the top of its list of legislative candidates submitted to the General Elections Commission.
He said Djoko was among those who had received the money from the PPP candidates, and that he had handed over the funds to the party's inner circles, which were allegedly closely connected to the wife of PPP chairman Suryadarma Ali.
The PPP dismissed the allegation and reported Bahrudin to the police for defamation.
"Just prove that we did that," PPP deputy chairman Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said.
Djoko had been a lawmaker with the PAN before the party recalled him in 2006 after he had become an advocate for the legalization of gambling in the country.