FPM leader Michel Aoun speaks during a news conference in Rabieh, Thursday, July 9, 2015. (The Daily Star/Khalil Hassan)
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The extension of the terms of top Army brass was another major blow to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun, who had voiced fierce opposition to the move for months, analysts said Thursday. But they said that Aoun still had cards to play, and remains a major player in the presidential election. Shamel Roukoz, currently head of the Army Commando Unit, is the most competent candidate for the post of the Army Commander.Once a strong presidential candidate, 80-year-old Aoun's chances of getting elected to the country's highest post have significantly dwindled. Aoun, who heads the largest Christian bloc, comprised of around 20 MPs, has also failed to prevent the extension of Parliament's term twice in the past two years. Haddad noted that a presidential candidate could still be elected if Aoun was the only one to object.Haddad said he expected the FPM leader to continue to veto Kahwagi's presidential candidacy."A settlement with Aoun is possible, but I believe matters are heading toward a confrontation," Kiwan said.But she said Aoun would definitely be part of any settlement that leads to the election of a president.
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