Friday 27 January 2023

Change in venue for transfer of powers will save the equivalent of 10 social welfare homes

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27 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The Legislative Assembly will host the transfer of powers for the first time in 73 years. The last time the May 8 event was in the Legislative building was in 1949.

President Carlos Alvarado (left) and President-elect Rodrigo Chaves (right) during their first meeting after the April 6 elections. Photo from Casa Presidencial

Initially, in order to have a massive turnout, president-elect Rodrigo Chaves had wanted the transfer of power to take place at the Estadio Nacional (National Stadium) in La Sabana.

However, due to the high costs, it was decided to carry out a more austere and lower-cost ceremony, such as the legislative session floor.

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Holding the May 8 event in the stadium would have cost equivalent to the construction of at least 10 social welfare houses.

“The Transfer Commission has evaluated different alternatives for the choice of the place for the act of transfer of powers of President Rodrigo Chaves. In view of the fiscal situation of the country, the budget limitations and the commitment to maintain adherence to austerity from the beginning of our administration, we decided that the activity be carried out in the Legislative Assembly, which is a very worthy space”, commented Arnoldo André, president of the Transfer Commission.

Read more: Transfer of Powers Will Be An Austere Ceremony

Last Tuesday, a letter was sent to the executive director of the Legislative Assembly, Antonio Ayales, with the respective request for the solemn session of May 8 to be held at the seat of Parliament.

“The activity will take place in the presence of the representatives of the powers of the Republic, of the different international delegations that will visit us and other Costa Rican authorities,” said André.

Since 1958, four presidents have opted for a venue other than the National Stadium for the transfer of powers.

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The first, in 1958, the transfer of powers to Mario Echandi was held in the Morazán Park;  In 2002, President Abel Pacheco chose the Mélico Salazar theater; In 2010, President Laura Chinchilla chose the lawn of La Sabana Park; And recently, President Carlos Alvarado did so in the Plaza de la Democracia.

According to the Minister of Foreign Relations, Rodolfo Solano, more than 80 invitations have been issued to heads of state and governments of countries with which Costa Rica has full diplomatic relations.

Read more: Chaves invites Juan Guaidó to transfer power; Are Maduro and Ortega on the list?

The date, May 8, on which the President-elect takes office was stipulated for the first time in article 105 of the Political Constitution of 1859, with the first President to take office that day was don Jesús Jiménez Zamora (May 8, 1863 to May 8, 1866).

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