Aoun heads a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Monday, May 21, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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With the new Parliament starting its term Tuesday and the re-election of Speaker Nabih Berri for a new four-year mandate assured at Parliament session Wednesday, attention is focused on the next move of forming a new government following parliamentary elections earlier this month, official sources said.A ministerial source said since the re-election of Berri as speaker, a post he has held since 1992, would be smooth and with a big majority of the new 128-member legislature, similarly, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to be named prime minister by a majority of parliamentary blocs.Berri is widely expected to be re-elected as speaker unopposed for a new four-year term.Ferzli, backed by the FPM, Berri and Hezbollah, stands a good chance of being elected deputy speaker after MP Walid Joumblatt said Sunday that his Democratic Gathering parliamentary bloc would support Berri's re-election and that he would recommend the bloc vote for Ferzli as deputy speaker.Despite long-simmering tension with Berri that has its roots in the speaker's opposition to Aoun's election as president in 2016, Bassil signaled that the FPM's bloc might vote for Berri's re-election.The Strong Lebanon bloc is set to meet under Bassil Tuesday to decide on the election of a speaker and deputy speaker.
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