Hariri poses for a picture with Berri as the Parliament convenes to elect a Parliament speaker in Beirut, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (The Daily Star/Ali Fawaz, HO)
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The smooth re-election Wednesday of Nabih Berri as Parliament speaker for a sixth consecutive four-year term unchallenged has set the stage for quick binding consultations with parliamentary blocs on designating a prime minster to form a new government, following general elections earlier this month.Shortly after the newly elected 128-member Parliament voted 98 in favor of Berri, with 29 blank ballots and one vote that was annulled, President Michel Aoun scheduled meetings with all parliamentary blocs and independent members of Parliament for Thursday for consultations on naming a prime minister.Before the iftar, Aoun met with both Berri and Hariri.The 29 blank ballots in the speaker's election were divided as follows: 14 for the LF's MPs, 12 for the FPM's Strong Lebanon bloc, with the remaining three cast by the three Kataeb Party MPs.Shortly after his re-election, Berri, Ferzli and members of Parliament's secretariat, paid a protocol visit to Aoun at Baabda Palace.Upon leaving Baabda Palace, Berri said he had agreed with Aoun to expedite parliamentary consultations on naming a prime minister.
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