FPM Marks October 13 Anniversary in Mass Rally near Baabda Palace

Supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement flocked Sunday from all Lebanese regions to an area outside the presidential palace in Baabda to mark the anniversary of the 1990 ouster of FPM founder MP Michel Aoun from the palace at the hands of Syrian forces.

This year's rally was held under slogans urging respect for the 1943 National Pact, which is an unwritten agreement that set the foundations of modern Lebanon as a multi-confessional state based on Christian-Muslim partnership.

The FPM's OTV broadcast footage showing FPM convoys heading to Baabda from areas across Lebanon.

The starting points included the Sayad roundabout, Nahr el-Mot, Sin el-Fil's Mirna Chalouhi center, Ashrafieh, Bourj Hammoud, Bekaa's al-Qaa, Chouf, Jezzine and the North.

Supporters were seen carrying FPM flags and pictures and slogans supportive of FPM founder Aoun, whose chances to be elected president have surged in recent days.

Aoun served as the head of one of two rival governments contending for power in Lebanon from 1988 to October 1990.

He declared a so-called “liberation war” against Syrian forces stationed in Lebanon on March 14, 1989. On October 13, 1990, he was ousted from the presidential palace after the Syrian forces invaded the areas that were under his control.

FPM chief Bassil had recently threatened that the FPM would “topple the government” through street protests if the other parties do not heed the movement's demand regarding “partnership” and the National Pact.

The FPM, which has the biggest Christian bloc in parliament, has suspended its participation in cabinet sessions and national dialogue meetings over accusations that other parties in the country are not respecting the National Pact.

The supporters of Aoun's presidential bid have also argued that he is more eligible than Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh to become president due to the size of his parliamentary bloc and his bigger influence in the Christian community.

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