BEIRUT — Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) president Gebran Bassil announced on Monday he would run for another term to lead his party, which is due to hold an election on Sept. 10.
In a video posted to X (formerly Twitter), Bassil encouraged "any FPM member who wishes to do so to present his candidacy," particularly "if he is not satisfied with my way of leading the PM politically" and "if he has a better program."
As in previous years, Bassil is not likely to face real rivals in the September race.
Bassil added that the party, which he has led since 2015, "has a presidential system" and that it is the only party in Lebanon whose president "is elected directly by the base, consisting of 40,000 members." Other parties, such as the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) which recently appointed Teymour Joumblatt as its new leader, as well as the Kataeb, elect their presidents via a special council — though the process is rarely competitive.
Though they have yet to be chosen, Bassil added that he would soon pick two vice presidents to run alongside him: one for social affairs and another for administrative affairs.
In 2019, after four years at the helm, Bassil was automatically reappointed head of the FPM party in the absence of a rival list. That year, he chose May Khoreiche and Martine Najm Koutayli as his vice presidents. They succeeded Nicolas Sehnaoui and Rommel Saber.
Before 2015, the FPM was still led by its founder and former Lebanese president Michel Aoun.