On Thursday, lawmakers in Senegal’s parliament fought and threw a chair over what they saw as an insult to a prominent religious leader supporting the opposition.
In response to Ndiaye’s comments, an opposition lawmaker hit her, as seen in TV and social media photographs verified by AFP.
She threw a chair at him in response, and after landing on the floor was helped up by her companions.
After a scuffle broke out among lawmakers, the meeting was adjourned.
The argument began during a vote on the 2023 budget for the Ministry of Justice.
Ndiaye’s criticism of Serigne Moustapha Sy, a Muslim leader in the opposition who is not a politician, ignited the unrest.
As of the 27th of November, she was reportedly accusing him of breaking his word and disrespecting President Macky Sall.
For the time being, “unless this lady has apologised,” as one opposition politician informed a TV station, Abba Mbaye will not support the return to normal parliamentary proceedings.
The physical assault on Ndiaye came at the same time as a campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and girls, which prompted some members of the governing coalition and feminist activists to express outrage.
In a part of the world where coups and dictatorships are commonplace, Senegal stands out as a bastion of democracy and stability.
After the July legislative elections resulted in a virtual tie, Sall’s party was forced to form a coalition in order to maintain their hold on power.
In 2012, Sall was elected to a seven-year term, and in 2019, he was re-elected to a five-year term. He has been tight-lipped about his intentions for the 2024 presidential election.