I have a question concerning the Meetings phase: the rules state that only four can be acquired and placed per turn. That would mean that in the first round only four meetings could be placed at most in the first state by any party. However, given the letter of the rules, can there be more turns per player in this phase in a given round? As the material limit is that of the 18 counters I would gather so but I am not sure.
During the Meetings phase you can place up to four meeting markers in each state. So, if you wanted to spend the cash you could put out a total of 16 meeting markers during the Meetings phase.
You are correct in stating that each party would be limited to placing four markers in the first state during the Meeting phase before the election. Players can place more meeting markers in that state, however, based on their initial choice of advantages at the beginning of the game.