Prime Minister Tammam Salam, right, receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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MP Michel Aoun called Tuesday on his Free Patriotic Movement supporters to take to the streets Wednesday to protest the extension of the top military brass' mandates and the government's alleged marginalization of Christian rights.Aoun, who last Saturday urged his supporters to get ready for the anti-government street protests against the military extensions, again warned against the deployment of the Army in the face of the protesters.Last month, seven soldiers and 17 protesters were wounded during a scuffle between the Lebanese Army and FPM supporters near the Grand Serail in Downtown Beirut.The FPM's new protests come in response to Defense Minister Samir Moqbel's decision last week to extend the terms of Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi, Military Chief of Staff Maj. Aoun, who is jockeying for the presidency backed by Hezbollah and March 8 allies, called for parliamentary polls before the election of a president. The parliamentary Future bloc Tuesday praised Moqbel's decision to extend the senior military officers' terms to avert a vacuum in security institutions, and condemned Aoun's call for street protests.
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