Jumblatt receives Aoun at his residence in Beirut’s Clemenceau neighborhood. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Friday his endorsement of MP Michel Aoun's nomination was aimed at foiling Hezbollah's attempts to continue with the presidential vacuum, as Lebanon witnessed an intensified flurry of meetings aimed at ensuring a smooth Parliament electoral session next week. The inter-Lebanese consultations, centering mainly on securing a big parliamentary majority for Aoun during the Parliament session set for Monday to elect a president, were backed up with daylong talks held by a Saudi envoy with top Lebanese political and religious leaders focusing on the presidential deadlock. Meanwhile, MP Walid Jumblatt, who heads an 11-member parliamentary bloc, announced following talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and Aoun that the majority of the bloc would vote for Aoun, ensuring a big parliamentary majority for the Free Patriotic Movement founder. Before meeting Jumblatt, Aoun, accompanied by Bassil, met with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail with whom he discussed preparations for the Parliament session to elect a president.Ahead of his talks with Aoun, Jumblatt met with Berri, who strongly opposes the FPM founder's election to the presidency.
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