Report: Bassil Remarks Revive AMAL-FPM Rowإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Dispute between AMAL Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement resurfaced again to “unprecedented levels,” following statements made by Foreign Minister and FPM chief Jebran Bassil during an electoral campaign visit to Lebanon’s (Shiite majority) South area over the weekend, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.
Bassil’s remarks triggered the ire of lawmakers from Speaker Nabih Berri’s parliamentary bloc who launched “violent verbal attacks” at Bassil, said the daily.
“Discontent of AMAL-Hizbullah duo alliance may have intensified” after several electoral visits the FPM and al-Mustaqbal Movement made in the Third South District, which includes the districts of Bint Jbeil, Nabatiyeh, Marjayoun and Hasbaya, areas of a Shiite majority.
“Last week, two visits provoked the duo’s resentment: Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s (Mustaqbal chief) and Bassil’s, both of whom mobilized their voters and urged them to vote for the “South Deserves” list formed by the FPM, Mustaqbal, the Lebanese Democratic Party and independents,” added the daily.
Christians and Sunnis have only two parliamentary seats in the district as a whole. The seats are allocated as follows: 3 Shiite seats in Bint Jbeil, 3 Shiite seats in Nabatiyeh, 2 Shiite seats, 1 Orthodox seat, 1 Sunni seat and 1 Druze seat for the Marjayoun and Hasbayya districts.
MP Ali Bazzi, of Berri’s Development and Liberation bloc, said Bassil’s remarks encourage “black division,” pointing out during a public meeting that “electoral entitlement can’t be established on the wreckage of national unity.”
During his visit to the border town of Rmeish, Bassil said people of the region were being subject to threats for electoral purposes, he referred to "threats to their livelihood shall they decide to make their own political choice.”
Ties between Berri's AMAL Movement and Bassil's FPM have been historically tense. But, in January they took a new turn against a leaked video footage showing Bassil calling Berri a “thug.”