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AIt’s Thursday in Parliament Senegal came to a tangible exchange of blows. Deputies in Dakar threw chairs and there were arguments. As the situation came to a head, an MP slapped a female MP in the face. Television pictures show the act of violence that triggered a fight.

The starting point was a dispute between the government and the opposition over the approval of the budget for the Ministry of Justice. Opposition politician Massata Samb left the lectern where he was about to address his fellow parliamentarians and slapped Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling coalition in Dakar in the face. Gniby fought back and threw a chair in Samb’s direction before being dragged to the ground by another MP.

The session was eventually adjourned as MPs continued to hit and insult each other.

Feminists and members of the ruling coalition expressed their outrage at the assault on Ndiaye, which coincided with the launch of a campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.

It was only in September, shortly before the election of the President of the National Assembly, that the deputies got into a fight. The ruling party lost its comfortable majority in the parliamentary elections in July. President Macky Sall is seeking a third term in 2024.



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