Portugal's president holds the country's political future in his hands as he ponders whether to give power to a center-right coalition government or an alliance of center-left parties.

The center-right government of the past four years collected most votes in an Oct. 4 election and wants to rule as a minority government. But the Socialist Party, which came second, says it has an agreement with the radical Left Bloc and the Portuguese Communist Party to form a majority government.

The Socialists say their alliance, which wants to ease austerity measures adopted after Portugal's 78 billion-euro ($88.5 billion) bailout in 2011, would force the collapse of a center-right government in Parliament within days.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva could announce his choice as early as later Wednesday.