A Senegalese court sentenced two lawmakers to six months in prison on Monday for assaulting a pregnant colleague on December 1 during a contentious parliamentary debate that turned violent.
Along with receiving a prison sentence, Amadou Niang and Massata Samb, lawmakers of the opposition PUR party were also forced to pay Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition a total of 5 million CFA francs ($8,200) in restitution for the assault.
Samb smacked Gniby in the face during a budget debate in the National Assembly after she sneered at his words in defiance of her, creating a tumultuous televised spectacle that startled Senegal.
When Gniby replied by hurling a chair at Samb, other legislators forced him to the ground and Niang kicked him in the stomach.
Political tensions in Senegal have escalated since the ruling party lost its comfortable majority in a parliamentary election in July, and the brawl exacerbated those sentiments.
In light of President Macky Sall‘s potential third term bid in 2024, which the opposition claims would violate both term limits and a prior vow, the defeat was generally viewed as a rebuke of the president. Sall, 60, has declined to make it apparent if he intends to run again.
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