File - Future bloc MP Ahmad Fatfat attends a press conference at the Parliament in Beirut, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A war of words flared up Monday between MP Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and the Future Movement over the presidential deadlock, threatening to raise political tension in the volatile country and further complicate already stalled attempts to elect a new president.In remarks published by As-Safir newspaper Monday, Aoun said presidential election talks with the Future Movement came to a halt after Riyadh ruled him out as a candidate.Syrian warplanes bombed Baabda Palace on Oct. 13, 1990, to evict Aoun, the then-Army commander, who opposed the 1989 Taif Accord.Future MP Atif Majdalani said Aoun's remarks reflected "tension and fears" that Hezbollah's nomination of the FPM leader for the presidency might be a maneuver.During several rounds of talks held between senior Future and FPM officials in the past months, including meetings with Hariri in France, Aoun sought to promote himself as a consensus or compromise candidate for the country's top Christian post, arguing that he heads the largest Christian bloc in Parliament.The March 14 coalition, which opposes Aoun's candidacy, has backed Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea as its candidate for the presidency, while MP Walid Jumblatt has nominated Aley MP Henri Helou as a candidate of his parliamentary bloc.MP Ibrahim Kanaan from Aoun's parliamentary Change and Reform bloc refused to comment on the Future MPs' verbal attacks on Aoun.
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