Bassil Defends Aoun, Calls for Constitutional Amendment to President's Powers

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Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil defended his father-in-law, Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, and called for a constitutional amendment to boost the President's powers.

Bassil was responding to reactions that emerged following Aoun's verbal attack on President Michel Suleiman.

"Let those who are defending the President sit together with us and make a constitutional amendment to his (President's) powers," Bassil said in remarks published Tuesday by the daily An-Nahar.

"I wonder where were those who care about the Presidency when we demanded that the President become head of the sovereign fund of oil revenues," Bassil asked. "We did not hear from them any support for the presidency."

Bassil said that if "they want to defend the presidency, let them declare their readiness to put together a constitutional amendment to the powers of the President."

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