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Lebanese president kicks off consultations for new premier; Beirut lawmaker set to be named

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    In this Thursday, April 4, 2013 photo, member of parliament and former minister of culture Tammam Salam listens during a meeting with a March 14 political coalition in Beirut, Lebanon. Salam has emerged as the leading candidate for the post of prime minister. Although leaning toward the Western-backed anti-Hezbollah coalition, Salam, who comes from a prominent Sunni Muslim family, is seen as a consensus figure. (AP Photo/Ahmad Omar)The Associated Press

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    FILE -- In this Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 file photo, the Lebanese Culture Minister Tammam Salam, right, seen with his Egyptian counterpart Farouk Hosni, during a two-day meeting of Arab culture ministers in Damascus, Syria. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is scheduled to start Friday, April 5, 2013 two days of consultations with representatives of parliament blocs toward naming a new prime minister. Beirut lawmaker Tammam Salam is emerging as the leading candidate for the post -- although leaning toward the Western-backed anti-Hezbollah coalition, Salam, a former minister of culture, is seen as a consensus figure. (AP Photo Bassem Tellawi, File)The Associated Press

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has begun two days of consultations with lawmakers to pick a new prime minister, but a consensus has already emerged to choose Tammam Salam for the post.

Salam, a lawmaker from Beirut and a former culture minister, is widely expected to be appointed by Suleiman as the new prime minister this weekend after securing the support of a majority of lawmakers.

Outgoing Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned last month over a political deadlock between Lebanon's two main political camps and infighting in his government.

Mikati's government was dominated by the Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group and its allies.

Although leaning toward the Western-backed anti-Hezbollah coalition, Salam, who comes from a prominent Sunni Muslim family, is seen as a consensus figure.