Senegal MP Slaps a Woman MP, Sets off Parliament Brawl

Lawmaker Slaps a Woman MP in Senegal Parliament (News Central TV)

In the midst of escalating hostility between members of the government and opposition parties, a violent altercation broke out in Senegal‘s parliament after a male opposition legislator struck a female colleague in the face.

On Thursday, Massata Samb, a member of the opposition, approached Amy Ndiaye Gniby, a member of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition, and slapped her, igniting a series of altercations.

Amy Ndiaye Gniby

Before another MP tackled Samb to the ground, Gniby flung a chair back at her. As lawmakers swapped blows, accusations, and insults, the meeting was adjourned.

Since a legislative election in July in which the ruling party lost its comfortable majority, tensions between the ruling and opposition lawmakers have risen, exacerbated in part by worries that President Macky Sall could run for a third term in 2024.

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The opposition claims that Sall’s refusal to make it clear if he intends to seek for a third term would violate both term restrictions and a prior promise.

Sall’s supporters contend that a constitutional amendment reset the clock, allowing him to run again. Sall is 60 years old.

When parliament met for the first time following the election in September, there was conflict over who would preside over the house.

Samb spoke to the assembly on Thursday on Gniby’s remarks from the weekend, in which she criticised a spiritual leader who was opposed to a third term for Sall.

“Mister President, a deputy has stood in front of this tribune to insult someone’s marabout [spiritual leader],” said Samb. Gniby scoffed at his remarks and declared she did not care, after which Samb walked over and hit her.

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