Opposition within the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) against party leader MP Gebran Bassil is increasingly taking shape, with many members reportedly boycotting party meetings.

The dissidents have many remarks regarding Bassil’s political positions, especially a recent stance which suggests that he is “longing” to return to Hezbollah’s lap by concluding a deal with Hassan Nasrallah that would include the presidential election.

According to information received by This is Beirut, once a ceasefire is concluded in Gaza, Hezbollah will turn its attention to the presidential election.  Sources close to Hezbollah spoke about a potential deal between Bassil and the “Shiite duo,” Amal and Hezbollah, under which the latter would drop Marada Party chief Sleiman Frangieh as their presidential candidate in exchange for the FPM’s support of another candidate of the duo, on condition that Bassil has a say in his nomination. The aim is to introduce the candidate as a representative of the Christians, and to excise the Lebanese Forces by denying them access to the political authority and keeping them in the opposition ranks.

By excluding the LF from the government, Bassil and Frangieh would then represent the Christians in the government, institutions and authority.

However, sources within the FPM reveal that if Bassil shifts to the duo’s side, he will lose a large number of his party’s MP’s who reject his choice. In the meantime, former president Michel Aoun, the FPM’s founder, is trying to address the matter and mend fences within party ranks.