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Fight breaks out after female MP hit in Senegal parliament

December 1, 2022

The brawl occurred during a budget presentation. One female MP was stuck, sparking a melee between lawmakers.

A handout picture made available by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaking at the National Assembly in Dakar, Senegal
A file photo showing the Senegal National AssemblyImage: Stephen Jaffe/dpa/picture alliance

Lawmakers in Senegal's parliament exchanged blows and a hurled chair on Thursday while one slapped a female MP in the face as issues became heated in the assembly.

The scuffles occurred amid growing acrimony between ruling and opposition party politicians.

A male opposition lawmaker hit a female colleague in the face, television footage showed, which sparked a brawl.

Chaos in Senegal’s parliament
A chair is seen being thrown in parliament amid the meleeImage: Mowliid Haji/Twitter

Budget presentation

The unseemly scenes occurred during a vote on the justice ministry's budget for next year.

In the midst of the budget presentation, opposition MP Massata Samb struck Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition.

Gniby hit back, throwing a chair back in Samb's direction before another lawmaker hauled her to the floor.

The session was eventually suspended as MPs continued to trade blows and launch insults.

Senegal: Listening instead of looking away

Attack comes amid violence against women campaign

Feminists and members of the governing coalition expressed indignation over the physical attack on Ndiaye, which coincided with an awareness campaign about violence against women and girls.

Tensions have grown recently between ruling and opposition politicians. A July legislative election saw the ruling party lose its comfortable majority, damaged partly by fears that President Macky Sall will seek a third term in 2024.

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jsi/jcg (AFP, Reuters)