Starting Saturday, international delegations will start arriving in Costa Rica for the Tuesday ceremony of the transfer of powers, when Carlos Alavardo will be sworn in as the country’s 48th president.
The ceremony is being held in the Plaza de la Democracia, the public square in the heart of downtown San Jose, that has been conditioned for the event.
The newly elected president of the Legislative Assembly will address the public, the newly sworn president will receive the presidential sash from the outgoing president (Luis Guillermo Solis) and will give his first presidential speech.
At 1:00 p.m. there will be lunch in the Teatro Nacional, a few blocks away, for the international delegations. The event will be a working lunch, as the new president is expected to hold bilateral meetings with heads or delegations of other countries.
At 4:00 p.m., President Carlos Alvarado will arrive back to the Plaza, walking from the Teatro Nacional, for the musical part of the event.
As of Thursday, only half of the 162 countries had replied to the invitation. The Foreign Ministry expected others will be sending their reply by late Friday.
Gina Guillén, director of protocol and in charge of the event, said they expected between 70 and 80 international delegations to visit, the same number as four years ago, but will likely be more given the early replies.
Among the ‘presidential’ visits confirmed are the presidents of Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Bolivia, as well as the Prime Minister of Aruba, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Although no Spanish royalty will be participating in this event, Spain is sending Ana Pastor, president of that country’s Congress.
Cuba will be represented by its vice-president, while legislators from Japan and South Korea will be representing their government and other countries will be represented by their Foreign Ministers.
Most European and Asian nations, Canada, the United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries, meanwhile, will be represented by prominent ambassadors.