Senegal’s Parliament briefly resembled a junior high school cafeteria last week as tensions turned into scuffling.
The BBC provided a bit of context, noting that the African nation’s legislative chamber has been a hotbed of tension since the July election. At that time, the party in power saw its legislative majority trimmed, which has led to less-than-amiable sessions.
On Thursday, Senegal’s parliament was wrangling over budget numbers when a lawmaker named Massata Samb, who is a member of the opposition, had a confrontation with lawmaker Amy Ndiaye Gniby, who belongs o the ruling party.
❗*Chaos in Senegal Parliament after MP Slaps Female Colleague*
The brawl began when opposition member Massata Samb walked over and slapped Amy Ndiaye Gniby – an MP of the ruling coalition – during a budget presentation, TV footage showed. pic.twitter.com/9Y074xSVTS
— Daniel Marven (@danielmarven) December 2, 2022
The incident began when Samb got up from his seat and crossed the room, approaching Gniby, the woman in the yellow clothing, for a round of words and finger-pointing.
Samb then closed quickly and delivered a right-hand slap to Gniby, who really did want to retaliate but was separated from her aggressor by her desk.
Pushing and shoving ensued until Samb was finally dragged away from Gniby, who was temporarily out of the frame.
But not for long.
Gniby emerged from the right side of the screen with a chair, which she brandished like a weapon as she plowed through lawmakers until, caught in a jam on the legislative floor, she hurled the chair at Samb.
Samb was not injured, but the escalation led to Gniby being tackled.
All of this triggered a new round of pushing and showing, finger-pointing and a whole lot of what appeared to be very unpleasant conversation.
The session was cut short.
As noted by Reuters, the major issue clouding the nation’s government is whether President Macky Sall will run for a third term in 2024.
Opposition lawmakers have said that if he does so, it would be a breach of both a promise and the nation’s term limits.
On Thursday, Samb had been talking about comments Gniby had made in which she criticized someone who had criticized any third term, according to Reuters.
“Mister president, a deputy has stood in front of this tribune to insult someone’s marabout [spiritual leader],” said Samb.
Gniby indicated she did not care, prompting Samb to confront her.
The scuffle was the second in the past two months, according to Reuters. In September, lawmakers scuffled and threw plastic water bottles at one another.
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