Minister Gebran Bassil gestures as he enters his car in Batroun, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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In the latest development of an ongoing saga, a senior dissenting Free Patriotic Movement member called Wednesday for his disciplinary tribunal to be open to party members, following his referral to a disciplinary hearing for criticizing party President Gebran Bassil.During a TV interview on July 16, Naim Aoun criticized Bassil and accused him of quashing democratic practices, trying to centralize power and pressuring rivals and allies into submission.He also attacked Bassil for referring fellow FPM member Ziad Abs to an internal court for painting the party in a bad light. The source supported Naim Aoun's claim that Bassil has been consolidating power.The claims of the dissenting members, if true, paint a picture of a party sharply divided and under the thumb of Bassil. Bassil initially agreed to promote an inclusive decision-making process and there was to be an assessment of the party to reform the internal democratic procedures.The source cited the internal arbitration tribunal as one example of Bassil's overreaching powers.The sources insist that the final decision always lay with Bassil.
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