Senegal lawmakers get 6-month jail sentence for assaulting colleague

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

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The men, Amadou Niang and Massata Samb of the opposition PUR party, were also ordered to pay a total of 5 million CFA francs ($8,200) 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 brawl worsened political tensions in Senegal that have risen since the ruling 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 of an earlier promise.

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

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