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Sierra Leone MPs calm down after Parliament brawl

Sierra Leone MPs calm down after Parliament brawl

Freetown, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) Things have cooled off on Thursday at the Sierra Leonean Parliament following MPs scuffled over a proposed change to the electoral system to allow for proportional representation in next year's election.

In video footage, representatives from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party are seen fighting and throwing chairs.

The bone of contention was that the West African nation´s electoral commission advized switching to a proportional representation system for coming year´s loca and perliamentary 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.

As the proposal requires legislative approval to become law, there might be more new debates and, therefore, new mass clashes, verbal or otherwise.

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