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Lebanon's Salam emerges as likely new premier

BEIRUT - Lebanese politician Tammam Salam, a former minister from a prominent Sunni Muslim political dynasty, emerged as a potential new prime minister on Thursday when he was endorsed by the country's pro-Western March 14 coalition.
Lebanon faces a parliamentary election in June but was plunged into uncertainty two weeks ago by the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, after a dispute over the electoral law and an extension to the term of a top security official.Mikati, who had called for a "national salvation" government to ensure stability in a country shaken by the conflict in neighboring Syria, said on Thursday he would not put his name forward again because he could not win consensus backing.
Salam - a Sunni Muslim as all prime ministers must be under Lebanon's confessional distribution of power - is the son of a former prime minister. His grandfather served under the Ottoman Empire and the French colonial mandate.
He won endorsement from March 14, which has 60 seats in the 128-seat parliament, at a meeting of the political alliance in central Beirut after a lightning trip to Saudi Arabia for talks with March 14's leader, former prime minister Saad al-Hariri.
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