Iraqi lawmakers have resorted to throwing water bottles and punching each other a day after a vote on a new Cabinet was postponed.

Wednesday's chaotic scenes reflect a growing political crisis in Iraq, even as the country wages war against the Islamic State.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, following weeks of pressure from an influential Shiite cleric and thousands of his followers, drafted a list of new ministerial nominees.

Lawmakers were to vote on the make-up on Tuesday but the vote was postponed, prompting dozens of legislators to begin a sit-in inside parliament, demanding al-Abadi and others step down.

The scuffles broke out between the protesting lawmakers and others who tried to continue the previous day's session.

Shiite lawmaker Kadhim al-Saydi, one of the protesters, said al-Abadi should "resign immediately."