Hezbollah bloc to back Salam for Lebanon premier

April 5, 2013 14:33

BEIRUT - Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah and its allies are expected to back Sunni politician Tammam Salam on Friday to be Lebanon's new prime minister, politicians said, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is holding two days of talks to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati, who resigned last month after two fraught years in office during which he sought to contain sectarian tensions, street violence and economic fallout from the civil war raging in neighboring Syria.

Salam's main task, if Suleiman asks him to form a government, will be to steer the fractious country towards a parliamentary election which is due in June but is now widely expected to face delay.

Mikati resigned following a cabinet dispute with Hezbollah and its allies - who brought him to power in early 2011 - over extending the term of a top security official and preparations for the parliamentary vote.

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