Supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement carries a picture of FPM leader Michel Aoun during a protest in Downtown Beirut, Thursday, July 9, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Azakir)
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Defense Minister Samir Moqbel Friday fired back at the Free Patriotic Movement which has denounced his extensions of security officials' terms as a "charade".The term of military chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi is set to expire in September.Defense Minister Samir Moqbel proposed during the session three candidates to succeed Kheir, but none received the required two-thirds majority vote.Out of the 24 ministers, only seven voted, including two ministers from the Free Patriotic Movement, two from Hezbollah, Energy Minister Arthur Nazarian, and Sports and Youth Minister Abdul-Muttaleb al-Hinawi. All other ministers abstained, including Moqbel himself, despite the appointment of a Higher Defense Council head being mandatory. As none of the candidates received the required votes, the defense minister practiced his right to postpone Kheir's retirement. Moqbel's abstention was seen as a de facto endorsement of the extension of Kheir's term.
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