Portugal's president says he will meet separately next week with the country's political parties who have been wrangling since the Oct. 4 general election over which one of them should form a government.

The head of state is a largely symbolic figure but has the power to nominate a prime minister, who then puts together a government, based on election results.

The recent election created a muddle. The incumbent center-right government won with 107 seats in the 230-seat Parliament and wants to rule, though it would be a vulnerable minority government. Left-of-center parties together have 122 seats and are considering joining forces to take power.

President Anibal Cavaco said in a statement Thursday he will hold talks with party leaders Oct. 20 and 21 before deciding who to choose.