By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With the incumbent President Dilma Rousseff winning reelection in October, the Presidential Palace makes the final preparations for the inauguration ceremony to be held Thursday, January 1st in Brasília. Delegations from sixty countries and 27 heads of state government, including the U.S. vice president, Joe Biden, the presidents of Uruguay, José Mujica, Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and Chile, Michelle Bachelet are expected to attend.
More than 4,000 security officers of the Armed Forces, the Federal, Civil and Military Police, Fire Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the Federal District will participate. There will also be air traffic control, and soldiers will be in the ministries to monitor the passage of the open car presidential parade.
“Due to the remoteness of reach of the president, the degree of control is higher,” said Flávio Lucena de Assunção, a coordinator for the event. “When there is an activity like this, in an open car, the concern of security is higher, but steps are taken to safeguard the president and the other authorities.”
According to the Army, an audience of 10,000 is expected to follow the president and the Parade of Ministries for the induction ceremony. People linked to the PT (Workers Party), the president’s political party, estimate that 30,000 to 40,000 will be present at the ceremony.
Flávio Assunção said those responsible for organizing the ceremony will act to prevent any demonstrations disturb the route to be made by the president. “The democratic demonstrations are always welcome, but the moment we are living [in now] is the post-election, and there is very little expectation of events occurring. [But] we are ready to control, so there is no violence.”
This year’s presidential election was the closest since Brazil’s re-democratization in 1985. Incumbent President Rousseff won re-election on October 26th by a straight margin over opposition candidate Aecio Neves. With 99.7 percent of votes counted Rousseff obtained 51.6 percent of the valid votes while Neves received 48.4 percent. According to the TSE (Brazil’s Electoral Court) twenty percent of voters did not show up at the polling stations, voted blank or annulled their votes.