The outgoing president, Danilo Medina, declined to be present at the ceremony of the joint meeting of the legislative chambers next Sunday where the incoming president, Luis Abinader, to whom the 2020-2024 presidential term corresponds, will be sworn in.
The absence was communicated by the Presidency of the Republic to which the president of the Senate, Eduardo Estrella, will be selected, and it explains that it is due “to the need to maintain health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.”
In an unusual procedure, Medina will go to the National Congress only to deliver the presidential sash to the president of the Senate.
Once the delivery ceremony takes place, where Luis Abinader will participate, the president of the Senate and the elected president will go to the National Assembly to take the oath and to place the tricolor band as a symbol of the Executive Power in the Dominican Republic.
Once Medina hands over the presidential sash, he will withdraw from the National Congress.
Medina will conclude eight years of government that began on August 16, 2012 by winning the elections on the ballot of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) against former President Hipólito Mejía, that time nominated by the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD).
Abinader won the Presidency in the elections held on July 5 against the PLD candidate, Gonzalo Castillo Terrero.
Protocol to follow
The transfer of command in the Dominican Republic, the product of general and free elections, is a symbolic act that represents the peaceful and democratic transition between one government and the next.
This year, the transfer of the presidential sash will take place in a ceremony in the office of the president of the Senate that will be broadcast live to the entire Dominican people, where the outgoing president will deliver to the president of the Senate, in his capacity as president of the Assembly, the Presidential sash, symbol of the Executive Power, with the presence of the president-elect and a small entourage respecting the measures of social distancing. This intervention concludes the participation in the acts of the outgoing president, Danilo Medina.
Then, the president-elect, the vice-president-elect, along with the other members that make up the table of honor, will enter the National Assembly Hall to take the constitutional oath of their positions, and later the presidential sash will be imposed on Luis Abinader Corona, President of the Republic.
The act within the Assembly Hall will be witnessed by senators, deputies, representatives of the Judicial Power, Decentralized State Bodies, Heads of State and foreign Missions and an accredited Diplomatic Corps.
Likewise, special guests, as well as representatives of the Catholic Church and of the country’s public and private institutions.
In addition, it is worth highlighting the adaptation of the etiquette of formal greetings, accepting, among others, the use of gesture greetings or slight bowing, in substitution of traditional greetings.
These and other changes that will be seen on Sunday, August 16, are clothed in the democratic spirit and the values and ideals of equality, rule of law, human dignity, and justice that characterize our country and Danilo Medina and Luis Abinader, president and president-elect, respectively.
The one appointed by Abinader to occupy the Foreign Ministry, Roberto Álvarez, reported that an important representation of the United States will come to the inauguration, headed by Michael Pompeo, Secretary of State.
From Spain, the mission will be chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maria Aranzazu González Laya and composed of the General Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rafael Garranzo García. The president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, will also come.
The oath. Article 127 of the Constitution establishes that before taking office, the President and Vice President must commit themselves through the following oath: “I swear before God and before the people, for the Homeland and for my honor, to comply with and enforce the Constitution and the laws of the Republic, protect and defend their independence, respect the rights and freedoms of citizens and faithfully fulfill the duties of my office ”.