Lebanon's president asks Salam to form government

BEIRUT (REUTERS) - Lebanon's president formally asked Sunni Muslim politician Tammam Salam to form a new government on Saturday after Mr Salam won overwhelming support from parliamentarians to be the country's new prime minister.

Mr Salam's appointment comes two weeks after the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose two years in office were dominated by efforts to contain sectarian tensions, violence and economic fallout from the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

His immediate task, if he is able to form a cabinet accepted by the country's rival political forces, will be to prepare for a parliamentary election which is due in June but faces likely delay. No agreement has been reached yet on an electoral system under which the vote will take place.