Berri is seen by some as an embodiment of that system, which shows no signs of changing despite rising discontent. But the parliament speaker, who is one of Lebanon’s most influential and enduring politicians, is also seen as a moderate, unifying figure who lifted his Shia community’s profile and role in the country’s postwar politics, often acting as mediator among feuding Lebanese factions.

Celebratory gunfire and firecrackers erupted across southern Beirut after Berri was approved. A pro-Syrian member of parliament, Elie Firzli, was re-elected as his deputy.

As leader of the Shia Amal movement, which is closely allied with the powerful Hezbollah, Berri is virtually untouchable. The two parties hold all but one of the 27 seats allotted to Shias in parliament.