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Inauguration of Mauricio Macri

Mauricio Macri receives the presidential sash and staff from Federico Pinedo.

The inauguration of Mauricio Macri as president of Argentina took place on December 10, 2015. It followed a rocky presidential transition and a dispute over ceremonial protocol between outgoing president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and president-elect Mauricio Macri.

Transition

Macri was elected president in the 2015 general elections, defeating Kirchnerist candidate Daniel Scioli. He met President Kirchner at the Quinta de Olivos a few days later. The meeting was focused on discussing the oath of office ceremony. In a part of that ceremony, the outgoing president hands the presidential sash and staff to the new president, as symbols of his presidential authority. Macri said that the meeting was pointless.[1]

A few days later, it was announced that the whole ceremony would take place in the Argentine Congress, arguing that the Argentine Constitution orders that the oath of office must take place there. Macri agreed to make the oath of office in the Congress, but thought that he should then move to the Casa Rosada across the Avenida de Mayo and receive the sash and staff from Cristina at the White Hall, as was traditionally done.[2] He argued that this was called for by presidential protocol. Kirchner allegedly wanted to fill the auditorium of the Congress with her sympathizers, who would jeer at Macri during the ceremony. Emilio Monzó, the incoming president of the Chamber of Deputies, said of the matter, "Historically inauguration day is when the people celebrate the incoming president, not the one who's leaving."[3] The White Hall, a closed hall, had no space for crowds and was not suitable for that purpose. Additionally, Kirchner, in 2007 and 2011, and her late husband Néstor Kirchner in 2003, were sworn in and received the presidential sash and staff in Congress, as was Eduardo Duhalde, who was selected president in 2002 by Congress.[4] Kirchner also associated the White Hall with presidents from Argentina's 1976–83 military dictatorship.[5][6]

Cristina Kirchner proposed to hold the oath of office in the Congress, leave the sash and staff in there, and leave. This proposal was not accepted.[7] Macri proposed that, if Kirchner refused to attend the ceremony at the Casa Rosada, he could receive the symbols from Ricardo Lorenzetti, president of the Supreme Court of Argentina.[7] Macri and Kirchner talked by phone and attempted to come to an agreement, to no avail. Kirchner claimed that Macri was rude and violent with her, stating that at one point during the call, "I had to remind him that beyond our offices, he is a man and I am a woman, and I did not deserve to be treated as I was."[8] She also went out of her way to remind Macri that "December 10 is not your birthday, but rather the day when you become the president of all Argentines in a democratic system."[8] Incoming vice president Gabriela Michetti cast doubt on her remarks, noting that Macri is a person "whom we've never heard raising his tone of voice".[9]

It was claimed that Kirchnerist organizations announced that they would take violent action against Macri supporters in the vicinity of the Plaza during the ceremony.[4] While these rumors were officially denied within the government, with the security secretary stating that all necessary measures were being taken to prevent confrontations,[10] and by Milagro Sala, leader of the Organización Barrial Túpac Amaru [es],[11] the rumors led to another dispute, as it was unclear who would have command over the police during the event. Judge María Servini de Cubría ruled that Kirchner's term of office ceased at midnight on December 10. As a result, Federico Pinedo, the provisional president of the Senate, was in charge of the executive branch in the 12 hours between the end of Kirchner's term and Macri's swearing in.[12] Kirchner left Buenos Aires in order to attend the inauguration of her sister-in-law Alicia Kirchner as governor of Santa Cruz Province, which took place the same day.[13]

International reaction to the dispute was noteworthy. The Chilean newspaper La Tercera noted that the scandal brought into relief "the weakness of Argentina's institutions", while El Tiempo of Colombia wrote that the dispute developed "in a context of strong political conflict".[14]

Inauguration

Macri took office on December 10, 2015. He began the ceremony at his apartment in the neighborhood of Recoleta at the corner of Avenida del Libertador and Cavia at 11:00am. He moved to the National Congress of Argentina with his wife Juliana Awada and his youngest daughter. At 11:41 he entered the Legislature, taking the oath of office along with Vice President Gabriela Michetti. He then delivered a 27-minute address in which he pledged his support for an independent judiciary, the fight against corruption and drug trafficking, and universal social services. He also greeted his competitors during the presidential elections.[15]

He then moved to the Casa Rosada, where he received the presidential sash and staff in the White Hall from acting president Pinedo,[16] accompanied by Vice President Michetti, President of the Chamber of Deputies Emilio Monzó, and President of the Supreme Court Ricardo Lorenzetti. Also present were the former presidents Fernando de la Rúa, Ramón Puerta, Adolfo Rodríguez Saá, and Eduardo Duhalde. Minutes later, Macri delivered an address from the Casa Rosada's historic balcony to a crowd assembled in the Plaza de Mayo, promising to "always tell the truth, always be honest" and also calling on the public to aid him running the country and to let him know if he were to make a mistake.[17]

After being declared president, he gave a reception at the San Martín Palace, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, to all the heads of state present: Michelle Bachelet from Chile, Horacio Cartes from Paraguay, Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia, Rafael Correa from Ecuador, Evo Morales from Bolivia, Dilma Rousseff from Brazil, and representatives of other countries attending his inauguration.[18]Juan Carlos I from Spain represented his home country and his son, Felipe VI.

Foreign attendees

Foreign kings, presidents and vice-presidents who attended the ceremony.

References

  1. ^ "Macri, luego de la reunión con Cristina: "No valió la pena"" [Macri, after the reunion with Cristina: "it was pointless"] (in Spanish). Clarín. November 24, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. ^ Darío Silva D'Andrea (December 3, 2015). "Historia de los traspasos de mando, entre el protocolo, la política y los caprichos" [History of government handovers: protocols, politics and caprices] (in Spanish). Perfil. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  3. ^ Álvarez Rey, Agustín (December 2, 2012). "Sigue la pulseada por el protocolo para el traspaso de mando". Tiempo Argentino. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Doman, Fabián (December 6, 2015). "El entramado detrás de la entrega de la banda y el bastón presidencial". Infobae. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Mariano Obarrio (December 2, 2015). "Crece el conflicto por el lugar de la transmisión del mando" [Conflict grows over where to hold the government handover] (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "¿Congreso o Casa Rosada? Dónde debe realizarse el traspaso de mando" [Congress or Casa Rosada: Where should the government handover be held?] (in Spanish). Perfil. December 6, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Cristina Kirchner quiere presenciar la jura de Mauricio Macri y dejar el bastón y la banda en el Congreso" [Cristina Kirchner wants to attend the oath of Mauricio Macri and leave the staff and sash in the Congress] (in Spanish). La Nación. December 8, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Cristina denunció el "maltrato" de Macri". Télam (via Crónica). December 6, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  9. ^ "Cristina acusó a Macri de maltrato y crece la tensión" [Cristina accused Macri of harassing her; tension is on the rise] (in Spanish). Clarín. December 6, 2015. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "El kirchnerismo descarta episodios de violencia el día de la jura de Macri". La Capital. December 8, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  11. ^ "Milagro Sala: "No estamos preparando actos de violencia contra Macri"". El Intransigente. December 8, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  12. ^ Alberto Amato (December 11, 2015). "Federico Pinedo pasó a la historia como el presidente de 12 horas" [Federico Pinedo passed to history as the 12-hours president] (in Spanish). Perfil. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  13. ^ Pablo Manuel (December 11, 2015). "Alicia Kirchner asumió en Santa Cruz con Cristina y Máximo en primera fila" [Alicia Kirchner took office in Santa Cruz with Cristina and Maximo in the first row] (in Spanish). Perfil. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Los medios del mundo reflejan con asombro la decisión de Cristina Kirchner". Infobae. December 8, 2015. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  15. ^ "Las 20 frases del discurso de Macri durante la asunción como presidente". Clarin. December 10, 2015.
  16. ^ "Macri recibió la banda y el bastón en la Casa Rosada". Clarín. December 10, 2015. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  17. ^ "Macri, desde el balcón de la Rosada: "Los argentinos merecíamos vivir mejor"". Clarin. December 10, 2015.
  18. ^ "Tras asumir la presidencia, Macri se reúne con las delegations extranjeras en el Palacio San Martín". La Nacion. December 10, 2015.
  19. ^ [cancilleria.gob.ar]