FPM supporters attend a protest in Martyrs Square in Beirut, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Thousands of Free Patriotic Movement supporters flooded into Martyrs' Square in Downtown Beirut Friday to exert pressure on the government to meet the party's demands for a bigger Christian say in running the country's affairs.The massive demonstration was the latest in the FPM's stepped-up campaign against the government to protest what the party dubbed "marginalization of Christian rights" in the public administration. FPM leader MP Michel Aoun did not attend the rally, but spoke briefly to the crowd through a huge screen from his residence in Rabieh.Addressing the rally, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law, renewed the FPM's demands for regaining Christian rights and partnership in the government's decision-making. FPM supporters carried Aoun's pictures and banners praising him.The rally comes as the FPM's ministers are locked in a dispute with Prime Minister Tammam Salam over the issue of security and military appointments and the Cabinet's decision-making system in the absence of the president.However, the FPM's rally was criticized by the Cabinet member from the Marada Movement, an ally of Aoun.
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