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

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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.