Senegal MP slaps female politician in the Parliament; lawmakers exchange blows, hurl chair | Watch
A male lawmaker in opposition slapped a female lawmaker in the Senegal parliament after she criticised a spiritual leader who is a critic of President Macky Sall's third term. Lawmakers exchanged blows and hurled a chair in Senegal's parliament on Thursday over a perceived insult towards an influential pro-opposition religious leader.
During a budget session, a male member of the Senegalese parliament slapped a female member of the ruling coalition Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY). According to a video footage, Amy Ndiaye Gniby was slapped in the parliament by opposition politician Massata Samb.
Following the event, there was a huge altercation among the politicians. Gniby was spotted tripping and falling before throwing a chair at Samb. Legislators were seen attempting to stop them from fighting. The meeting was called to a halt as legislators began verbal scuffles.
The situation unfolded over criticism by Gniby of a spiritual leader opposed to a third term of President Macky Sall.
"Mister president, a deputy has stood in front of this tribune to insult someone's marabout [spiritual leader]," Samb was quoted by media reports. Samb reportedly came up and slapped Gniby after she apparently laughed mockingly at Samb's comments and said she didn't care.
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.
The physical assault on Ndiaye happened in conjunction with a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, and several members of the ruling coalition as well as feminist activists denounced it.
West Africa, a region known for coups and dictatorships, looks to Senegal as a model of stability and democracy. Sall was chosen in 2012 for a seven-year term and again in 2019 for a five-year term. His ambitions for the next 2024 presidential election remain a secret.