Senegalese lawmakers get 6-month jail term for colleague assault

A man holds a Senegalese flag outside the National Assembly in Dakar on September 12, 2022 [Carmen Abd Ali / AFP]

Amadou Niang and Massata Samb were ordered to pay more than $8,000 in compensation to fellow MP Amy Ndiaye Gniby.

A court in Senegal has sentenced two lawmakers to six months in jail for assaulting a pregnant colleague on December 1 during an acrimonious parliamentary session that degenerated into a full-blown brawl.

In a ruling on Monday, the Dakar court also ordered the men, Amadou Niang and Massata Samb of the opposition Party for Unity and Rally (PUR) to pay a total of 5 million CFA francs ($8,144) in compensation to lawmaker Amy Ndiaye Gniby of the ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition.

In a chaotic televised scene that shocked Senegal, Samb slapped Gniby in the face during a budget debate in the National Assembly after she scoffed at his remarks in criticism of her.

Gniby responded by throwing a chair at Samb and was then pushed to the ground by other lawmakers and kicked in the abdomen by Niang.

The fight has worsened political tensions in Senegal that flared when the governing party lost its comfortable majority in a July legislative election.

The loss was widely seen as a rebuke of President Macky Sall amid uncertainty over whether he will seek a third term in 2024, a move the opposition says would be in breach of term limits and an earlier promise.

Sall, 60, has refused to state clearly whether he plans to run again.


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