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Lebanon's FPM Resentful, Studies Options

Lebanon's FPM Resentful, Studies Options

Friday, 25 October, 2019 - 10:15
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil gestures as he talks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

A member of the Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc expressed his strong dissatisfaction with the situation in the street, saying that the “compass has been lost.”

He said that the protests were now mainly targeting the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), its leader and President Michel Aoun.

The FPM deputy said he was surprised that he and his colleagues now have to stay home for fear of being attacked.

Aoun supporters remained silent about the popular movement in its early days, until FPM President and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil appeared in Baabda Palace to talk about the “great collapse or the bold rescue”, warning of “chaos in the street and sedition”.

On Thursday, a video circulated on the social media, showing Bassil in the central office of the Free Patriotic Movement, where some of his supporters gathered. He told them: “We are strong, do not be afraid and do not shake.”

Dozens of supporters organized a sit-in in front of the Palace of Justice in Baabda, in conjunction with a speech addressed by President Michel Aoun on Thursday, during which they raised the Lebanese flags exclusively.

Following a meeting chaired by Bassil, the FPM Political Council said in a statement that the cause carried by the demonstrators was that of the FPM, “which considers itself an integral part of this popular situation.”

He cautioned that internal and external forces have “exploited the righteous anger of the people to strike stability, spread chaos and weaken the rule; this is what we will not accept.”

“As far as we support the right popular demands, we will be tough in the face of saboteurs,” the statement emphasized.

The council insisted on “issuing laws to lift immunity and bank secrecy and recover looted funds”, adding that the members have “confirmed their commitment to lift bank secrecy from their accounts.”

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