All Mercosur leaders present at Mujica’s inauguration next March
Mercosur presidents have confirmed attendance to the inauguration next March first of Uruguayan president-elect Jose Mujica who will be heading a second consecutive government of the catch-all centre left coalition Broad Front.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is scheduled to arrive in Montevideo for the swearing ceremony of Mr. Mujica before the Uruguayan general assembly, while Brazilian leader Lula da Silva and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo will also be present, according to Uruguayan protocol officials.
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay are Mercosur full members and Venezuela is in the process of incorporation.
Although not officially confirmed it is anticipated that Chile’s Michelle Bachelet; Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez; Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, close friends of the incoming president will be at the ceremony.
Meanwhile Uruguayan officials this weekend are expected to discuss with their Chilean counterparts to confirm or discard the presence of Chilean conservative president-elect Sebastián Piñera who has also been invited.
Following the taking oath ceremony in Parliament building Mujica and Vice president Danilo Astori will move to Plaza Indpendencia, Montevideo’s main square for an open celebration where outgoing president Tabare Vazquez will impose on Mujica the presidential sash.
The day will close with a parade of music bands, shows, dancing, theatre, folklore singers “to make it a real popular festivity”, said the organizers.
Contrary to tradition there will be no full military parade, just the music bands and standard bearers from the different military academies.
According to the organizers, following on Mujica instructions most of the ceremony and popular jubilation will be financed by the president-elect Popular Participation Movement party.
“The incoming president wants to insist in the need for austerity and cutting government outlays”, said the organization committee.
Mujica has also requested (instructed?) his future cabinet minister to use if possible their own cars, and not the government fleet.
“Good, strong, smallish but fuel efficient cars such as those of the Uruguayan middle class, just like any Mr. Smith”, said Julio Martínez a political advisor to Mujica.
He recalled that during his several years as Agriculture minister, Mujica he did not make use of the ministerial car but rather used a small Corsa, belonging to his political grouping MPP.