File - Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a Parliament session in Beirut, Thursday, March 20, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Prospects are high for the presidential vote to take place without foreign interference, Speaker Nabih Berri was quoted as saying Thursday as Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai called for the election of a consensus president.Berri also implicitly said that a rapprochement between regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran would have a positive impact on the situation in Lebanon, including the presidential election. Foreign officials, including U.S. President Barack Obama, have called for the presidential election, scheduled in May, to be held without foreign intervention.Berri was further quoted as saying that he had told foreign ambassadors based in Beirut not to interfere in the presidential election. Rai called for the election of a consensus president, virtually ruling out both Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun for the presidency.
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