Berri heads a Parliament session in Beirut, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri will officially announce his endorsement of MP Michel Aoun's candidacy for the presidency Thursday, Future Movement sources said Wednesday, overriding strong opposition from Speaker Nabih Berri and some March 14 allies.Political sources said Hariri's announcement might be followed by Aoun's visit to Hariri, virtually sealing a deal between the Future Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement to fill the presidency seat which has been vacant for two and a half years.The deal basically calls for electing Aoun as the country's next president and naming Hariri as a prime minister, they said.Berri vehemently opposes Aoun's candidacy for the presidency and backs Aoun's rival, Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh.In response to the alleged Future-FPM deal, sources close to Berri said the speaker's 14-member Development and Liberation bloc in Parliament would not vote for Aoun or name Hariri for the premiership.Hariri Tuesday informed his bloc of his decision to endorse Aoun for the presidency.
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