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Members of the Free Patriotic Movement are preparing to elect a new president for the first time in party history, but a major disagreement over the powers of the position has already cast a shadow over the race.On Sept. 20, 16,000 FPM members will vote to elect a president and his first and second deputies. The battle for the FPM presidency is likely to pit MP Alain Aoun, Michel Aoun's nephew, against Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, his son-in-law.The election of a new FPM president is the first step in the implementation of the party's bylaws, which were submitted to the Interior Ministry in December 2014 .The amendments were rejected by Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk. But despite his opposition, Aoun issued a memo to FPM officials stating that the elections would be held based on the amended version. FPM officials who back Bassil argue that a president cannot run a party if he has to put routine or time-sensitive decisions to a vote.
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