Berri Reelected as Lebanese Speaker

Berri Reelected as Lebanese SpeakerBerri Reelected as Lebanese Speaker

Veteran politician Nabih Berri, a close ally of Hezbollah group, was reelected for a sixth term as speaker of Lebanon’s parliament in an uncontested vote on Wednesday.

Another Hezbollah ally, Elie Ferzli, was elected deputy speaker, reflecting a shift in Lebanon’s political landscape in favor of the Shia group, Reuters reported.

Hezbollah, and its allies, won at least 70 of parliament’s 128 seats in a May 6 election. The result was a reversal of Lebanon’s last general election in 2009, when anti-Hezbollah groups won a majority.

Berri won the votes of 98 of 128 lawmakers. After being reappointed as speaker, a role he has held since 1992, he called for a new government to be formed as soon as possible.

He heads the Amal Movement and has been allied with Hezbollah since the end of Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war.

Saad al-Hariri, who headed the outgoing cabinet, is expected to be premier again and faces tough negotiations to form a coalition government including all the main parties. He will lead a caretaker government until the new cabinet is agreed.

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