Africa

Fistfight breaks out in Kenya parliament

An inside view of Kenya's Parliament Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Politics in Kenya's parliament is known for being highly animated and partisan

A parliament session in Kenya has descended into chaos, with rival MPs trading punches.

Opposition lawmakers tried to block discussions on the introduction of manual vote-counting for next year's presidential election.

The government wants a back-up to the electronic system but the opposition says it is a way of rigging the poll.

Kenyan politics is known to be highly partisan and this is not the first physical fight.

In 2014, four lawmakers were assaulted and one had his shirt torn.

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The live video feed from parliament was cut after the fight broke out on Tuesday evening and journalists were ordered out of the press gallery.

After an earlier highly charged discussion over the proposed changes to the electoral law, opposition MP Millie Odhiambo attacked President Uhuru Kenyatta, calling him "extremely stupid".

Mr Kenyatta gave his initial response to that attack at an event to usher in the festive season, saying "some idiots continue to insult me" but added that it was part of their freedom.

But Mr Kenyatta seems to have now ended his war of words with Ms Odhiambo, as a local media station on Wednesday shared a picture of a Christmas card from the president addressed to the MP.

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