Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a legislative session, Beirut, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A quorum of a two-thirds majority – 86 MPs – has been secured to convene a Parliament session for electing a new president, Speaker Nabih Berri said Wednesday, adding that a second round of voting would be held if a candidate did not win in the first round.In the meantime, MP Walid Jumblatt's 11-member parliamentary bloc appears to be heading toward backing MP Michel Aoun's nomination for the presidency, dropping its declared support for his rival, Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh.With backing from Jumblatt's bloc, Aoun has been assured of a big parliamentary majority for his election as president at the Parliament session scheduled for next Monday, after having gained the support of the Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah and some of its March 8 allies.A candidate needs a two-thirds majority, or 86 MPs, to be elected president in the first round of voting.Berri, who has declared that he will not vote for Aoun, said he would attend the Parliament session along with his 13-member parliamentary bloc.
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