A scuffle erupted during a session of Sierra Leone’s parliament in Freetown on Wednesday (Nov 23).
They discussed a proposed modification to the electoral system that would allow for proportional representation in the election next year.
Representatives from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) are seen fighting and throwing chairs in video footage.
The West African nation’s electoral commission advised switching to a proportional representation system for next year’s local and parliamentary elections excluding presidential polls.
The opposition claims the move would be unconstitutional when the government backs the plan.
However, for it to be passed, it requires parliamentary approval.
Lawmakers torn apart equipment and broke a vase.
The fight erupted around 1100 GMT and had quieted down by afternoon. According to local reports, the police intervened to calm down the riotous scene and expel disruptive MPs from the chamber.
The June 2023 vote will see President Julius Bio, who was first elected in 2018, contest a second term in office.
Last week, lawmakers passed legislation to introduce a gender quota in all elected and appointed positions ahead of next year’s election, which had been a major campaign promise by the president in 2018.