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Lebanese rivals groups edge closer to deal over premiership

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Lebanese rivals groups edge closer to deal over premiership


Moves to find a new Lebanese prime minister and end the country’s political deadlock appear close to success.

President Michel Suleiman is holding two day talks to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati who quit last month. There is widespread support for Sunni politician Tammam Salam.

The outgoing prime minister named him as the man he wants to form a new government after he was backed by Shi’ite miliant group Hezbollah and its allies, handing Salam an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement.

If, as expected, the president nominates Salam, his main task will be to steer the fractious country towards a parliamentary election in June. But even Lebanon’s most optimistic politicians believe a contest that early is highly unlikely with street violence still raging between rival sectarian groups as the conflict in neighbouring Syria spills over.

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