Speaker Nabih Berri speaks at his Ain el-Tineh residence in Beirut on Saturday, August 31, 2013. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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Despite repeated calls by international powers on rival Lebanese factions to elect a new president soon, coupled with Speaker Nabih Berri's internal moves to break the 5-month-old deadlock, political sources ruled out any breakthrough on a new president before early next year.Sources at Berri's residence in Ain al-Tineh insisted that the speaker's positive signals on the presidential deadlock were based on ongoing regional activity.However, despite all these positive signals, political sources said that behind Berri's optimism about breaking the presidential deadlock was an attempt to cover up the recent extension of Parliament's mandate for two years and seven months.Senior sources in the Future Movement told The Daily Star that any bilateral, tripartite or collective dialogue between the two sides should be held under the president's sponsorship.Given the conflicting attitudes between the Future Movement and Hezbollah following the latter's military intervention in Syria and the continued dispute over the party's arsenal, any dialogue must begin with an agreement among the various Lebanese parties on the presidential election because this matter alone can defuse political tensions in the street, the sources said.
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