• Portugal leadership impasse continues

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    LISBON: Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva on Monday insisted on guarantees a new leftwing government would be “stable” and comply with EU rules before agreeing to appoint its Socialist leader as prime minister.

    Under pressure to end the political impasse that has kept Portugal in limbo for weeks, he instructed the leader of the Socialist Party, Antonio Costa, to “make efforts to form a stable, lasting and credible” government.

    But the president also asked the 54-year-old for clarification on how his leftist alliance would pass state budgets, ensure Portugal adheres to eurozone budget rules and its membership of NATO.

    Costa’s unprecedented leftwing alliance of the Socialist Party, Communists, Greens and Left Bloc toppled Portugal’s 11-day-old conservative minority government in a dramatic parliamentary vote this month.

    The center-right coalition led by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho had won the most votes in October 4 elections, but lost the absolute majority it had enjoyed since 2011.

    AFP

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