The Senegalese parliament descended into chaos on Thursday as a lawmaker hit a female colleague over perceived insult towards an influential pro-opposition religious leader.
A violent brawl broke out in Senegal’s parliament on Thursday after a male opposition lawmaker slapped a female colleague in the face, television footage showed, amid growing acrimony between ruling and opposition party politicians.
During a budget presentation, opposition member of parliament Massata Samb walked over and slapped Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition, setting off a flurry of scuffles.
Gniby threw a chair back at Samb before another MP tackled her to the floor. The session was suspended as lawmakers traded blows, accusations, and insults.
According to AFP, the lawmakers were deliberating on the justice ministry's budget for 2023, when the fight broke out.
An opposition Member of Parliament slapped legislator Amy Ndiaye over her remarks and she responded by throwing a chair at him and then fell to the ground.
A fistfight then erupted among MPs before the speaker suspended the session.
Tensions have grown between ruling and opposition politicians since a July legislative election in which the ruling party lost its comfortable majority, damaged in part by concerns President Macky Sall will seek a third term in 2024.
Sall has refused to state clearly whether he plans to run for a third term, a move the opposition say would be in breach of term limits and of an earlier promise.