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Bolsonaro becomes Brazil’s 38th president

His first speech as head of state will be delivered in Congress

Published in 01/01/2019 - 14:51

By Luiza Damé Brasília

Sixty-five days after winning the elections, Jair Bolsonaro takes office as president of Brazil at a ceremony started at 2 om today (Jan. 1), with rites held at the National Congress building, the Planalto presidential palace, and the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Accompanied by First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, the president-elect will leave his official residence in Granja do Torto to proceed to the Cathedral of Brasília, in the Esplanade of Ministries, where he is to meet with vice-President Hamilton Mourão.

At the cathedral, vehicles are changed and the two couples are taken to Congress in separate cars. The drive is expected to last around ten minutes.

Boneco gigante de Bolsonaro foi colocado no Eixo Monumental próximo à Rodoviária de Brasília, por onde a população terá acesso para acompanhar a posse na Praça dos três Poderes.
A giant Bolsonaro figure was placed in downtown Brasília by supporters. – Wilson Dias / Agência Brasil

The session for Bolsonaro’s inauguration ceremony in the lower house is declared opened at 3 pm by the house speaker, Senator Eunício Oliveira. This is when Bolsonaro pledges to “maintain, defend, and follow the Constitution, observe the laws, promote the general good of the Brazilian people, and sustain the union, the integrity, and the independence of Brazil.” The oath is followed by Bolsonaro’s address as Brazil’s 38th president.

Bolsonaro and Mourão, accompanied by their wives, proceed to the Planalto presidential palace, seat of the country’s Executive branch, where they are welcomed by Michel Temer and First Lady Marcela Temer. All will move next to the rostrum. After handing over the presidential sash, Temer and the first lady leave the Planalto palace.

Still at the rostrum, and wearing the presidential sash, Bolsonaro delivers his inaugural speech, approximately 30 minutes long, to be watched by the public in the Três Poderes square. After the address, the president is greeted in the noble hall, and swears in 22 ministers. At 6:30 pm, Bolsonaro starts entertaining guests at a cocktail party at the Foreign Ministry.

Posse, Bolsonaro, Esplanada. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes
Bolsonaro and First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro parade in an open-roofed car before the inauguration. – Ricardo Moraes / Reuters / All rights reserved.



The inauguration has a tight security scheme, the biggest for a presidential ceremony. During the electoral campaign, Bolsonaro suffered a knife attack, which is one of the reasons behind the reinforced security arrangements. Since Saturday (Dec. 29), cars and other vehicles have not been allowed to circulate in the Esplanade of Ministries, where the ceremony takes place.

Some 250 thousand to 500 thousand people are expected to watch the inauguration in the Esplanade. Over 2.6 thousand military police officers will be mobilized, along with agents from the Army, the Federal Police, the Civil Police, and the Fire Department.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Carolina Pimentel / Nira Foster

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