November 24, 2015 / 9:15 AM / in 3 years

Portuguse president to meet Socialist PM hopeful again amid uncertainty

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s president will meet Socialist leader Antonio Costa again on Tuesday after the prime ministerial hopeful responded in writing to his call for the Socialists far left partners to respect budget commitments to the EU.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva on Monday asked Costa to start work to form a government, but stopped short of naming him premier and requested clarifications on how a minority Socialist government would pass budgets and about commitments to keep the budget deficit within European Union rules.

The president’s office said a new meeting with Costa is now set for 11:00 a.m. (0600 ET).

The Socialist party said late on Monday that Costa had sent a formal reply to Cavaco Silva addressing his doubts, but would not reveal the contents of the letter.

The Communists, on whose support the Socialists rely for a parliament majority, have rejected Cavaco Silva’s demands, which may upset Costa’s hopes of forming a government.

The new meeting comes amid deep political uncertainty following an inconclusive Oct. 4 election, which some analysts fear could undermine Portugal’s economic recovery after the country exited a bailout in 2014.

The austerity-minded center-right won most votes, but lost their parliamentary majority in the election, and was ousted by parliament on Nov. 10.

Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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