The crucial session is expected to put at end to 2-1/2 years of vacuum in the country’s top post. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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MP Michel Aoun is set to be elected Lebanon's president Monday, backed by allies and former foes, during a crucial Parliament session that will put an end to 2-1/2 years of vacuum in the country's top post.In a surprise development that was interpreted by FPM sources as boosting the chances of Aoun's election in the first round of voting, his rival, Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh, urged MPs who support his candidacy to cast blank ballots.Speaker Nabih Berri, who staunchly opposes Aoun's election, said his 13-member parliamentary bloc would vote during the Parliament session with "blank ballots at MP Sleiman Frangieh's request".In addition to having gained the support of the Future Movement, the Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah and some of its March 8 allies, some pro-Syria parties, like the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (two votes), MP Talal Arslan's Lebanese Democratic Party (two votes), and some independent MPs, including Prime Minister Tammam Salam, have said they will vote for Aoun.MP Walid Jumblatt, who reiterated that the majority of his 11-member parliamentary bloc would vote for Aoun, met with Salam Sunday at the latter's residence in Museitbeh.
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