Lebanon’s March 14 Bloc Nominates Salam for Prime Minister

Lebanon’s March 14 alliance named a son of a veteran politician as its choice for premier to replace Najib Mikati, who resigned last month, the group said in an e-mailed statement.

March 14 lawmakers will inform President Michel Suleiman of their decision to name lawmaker Tammam Salam for the post during parliamentary consultations the president will hold today and tomorrow.

The rival March 8 bloc, dominated by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, has decided after long deliberations to back Salam, the Daily Star newspaper reported, citing unidentified political sources. The Shiite Amal movement, which is part of the alliance, has decided to endorse Salam, its leader, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, said, according to the official National News Agency.

Salam, a U.K.-educated businessman, is the son of late Premier Saeb Salam and has served as culture minister.

Mikati, a Hezbollah-backed billionaire, dissolved his two-year-old administration on March 23 amid disagreements between the March 14 and March 8 groups over the rules that should govern June’s parliamentary elections and the reappointment of a security chief.

Marwan Charbel, the interior minister in Mikati’s outgoing government, has requested that the elections be postponed by one week to June 16.

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