Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri is rather “optimistic” about the success of the National Moderation parliamentary bloc’s initiative to break the deadlock in the presidential election, according to MP Walid Baarini, a member of the bloc.

Following a meeting on Saturday between a delegation from the bloc and Berri, Baarini said that the initiative “has gained new momentum.” The purpose of the meeting was to inform the head of the legislature of the results of a tour undertaken by members of the bloc to present the initiative to the various political and religious parties.

The delegation included MPs Sagih Attieh, Ahmad Kheir, Mohammad Sleiman, Ahmad Rustom, Abdelaziz Samad and former MP Hadi Hobeiche.

“Even if the second phase is not covered by the media, the initiative will continue through consultations with the various parties,” Baarini said. “We will prove to national and international public opinion, as well as to the media, that this initiative will be crowned with success,” he asserted.

Asked about Hezbollah’s position on the initiative and the mechanism on which it is based, Baarini stressed that the bloc is still awaiting Hezb’s response, as it has a say in the matter. “The mechanism put in place, in coordination with Berri, is very positive,” he added.

On the question of who will chair the dialogue or consultations, the MP stressed that there is “agreement” on which party will do so, as well as on “the modalities for convening these sessions and on any other point likely to make this initiative a success.” “Berri is optimistic,” he assured.

According to sources in the National Moderation bloc, quoted by MTV, Berri is in favor of pursuing this initiative, “perhaps because he is beginning to be convinced, as is Hezbollah, of the need for a third candidate, even if Hezbollah and Berri are not openly declaring it.”

The initiative led by the National Moderation bloc consists of holding parliamentary consultations on the presidential election at Place de l’Etoile, after which the deputies will call for an open electoral session, with successive rounds, until a president is elected. An option of which Berri and the Quintet (the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar) are in favor.

Berri also met with Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati who left Ain al-Tineh without making any statement.