Fistfight breaks out over control of Kenya parliament

Fistfight breaks out over control of Kenya parliament

Fighting broke out in Kenya’s parliament on Thursday evening following a ruling by the Speaker that broke a deadlock over which coalition has the majority MPs in the house.

Opposition lawmakers were angered by the Speaker’s ruling that recognised the ruling Kenya Kwanza (Kenya first) coalition with 179 MPs as having the majority.

The opposition has 157 MPs, the speaker said.

The crux of the debate was the placement of 14 MPs whose parties were originally in the opposition Azimio la Umoja (Quest for unity) coalition but have since shifted allegiance across the aisle.

Opposition MPs argued that the constitutional timeline allowing for decamping from coalitions had not yet reached.

One opposition MP tried to grab the mace – the symbol of parliamentary authority – to express displeasure at the ruling.

The live broadcast of the session was cut after the fight broke out on Thursday evening.

Kenyan politics is known to be highly partisan and physical fights are common in parliament.

Source: BBC

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