Brazilian presidential inauguration

Brazilian presidential inauguration

The presidencial inauguration is composed of several ceremonies that happen in the same day. It has developed throught the years but takes the current format by law in 1972. This law remains the details under consult to the President-elect.

Through democratic elections or coups, resignations and deaths, presidencial inaugurations have been important events in Brazilian history. As military propaganda, oligarchy party or popular party, the ceremonies had different symbologies at different times. Presidencial inauguration has been developed as the republic itself into a country with one of most modern election system and represents brazilians` wish.


At the beginning, there was no special ceremony. The founders of the Brazilian republic faced a serious question of legitimacy. The officers who joined Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca in ending the empire were violating solemn oaths to uphold emperor and empire. The republic was born rather accidentally: Deodoro had intended only to replace the cabinet, but the republicans manipulated him into founding a republic. In addition, there were crisis among the interests of militaries, oligarchies and republicans intelectuals. The Old Republic wasn`t popular as the empire was.

The Revolution of 1930 rose Getulio Vargas as Provisional President. After the ratification of Constitution of 1934, Vargas was elected President by the Congress and he would be forced to step down as president by January 1938 because his own 1934 constitution prohibited the president from succeeding himself. However, on November 10, 1937, Vargas, ruling by decree, made a broadcast in which he stated his plans to assume dictatorial powers under a new constitution derived from European fascist models, thereby curtailing presidential elections (his ultimate objective) and dissolving Congress. Vargas, like Hitler in the Weimar Republic and Mussolini in the postwar Kingdom of Italy, consolidated power in a gradual process within the established political system, not in a single coup d'état or revolution.Siding with the antifascist Allies also created a paradox for the fascist-like regime. By the end of World War II, Vargas had to respond to the newly liberal sentiments of a middle class that was no longer fearful of instability and proletariat discontent by moving away from fascist repression—promising "a new postwar era of liberty" that included amnesty for political prisoners, presidential elections, and the legalization of opposition parties—including the then now moderated Communist Party. Vargas laid the foundations of a modern Brazil, highly industrialized, and grew the republic popularity.

The Second Republic was marked by the collapse of Brazilian populism. After the New State without presidential inaugurations, this ceremonies growth in importance with truly democratic elections although political instability. The most notable manifestation of the nationalistic aspirations was the Kubitschek's construction of Brasília, Brazil's ultra-modern capital.

The end of Second Republic was with 1964 Brazilian coup d'état against the danger of communism. On April 15, 1964, fifteen days after the coup, the army chief of staff, Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco became the appointed president, with the intention of overseeing a reform of the political-economic system. President Castelo Branco in his own right tried to maintain a degree of democracy. The following military presidents used election campaigns and presidential inaugurations to show this degree of democracy, while was indirect elections by the Congress. At military government, president Emílio Medici decreed the rules of ceremonies still used nowadays.

The military political period has ended with consensus among millitaries and civilians by the election of Tancredo Neves. However, Tancredo collapsed the night before his inauguration, and the presidency passed to Vice President José Sarney, long-time supporter of the military regime. The last military president, João Figueiredo, did not appear at the inauguration ceremony considering that there should be a new election. Another election did not happen and Sarney`s inauguration marked the beginning of the New Republic.

New constitution was proclaimed in October 1988 and restored civil and public rights, as well direct elections. This constitution also fixed to 1993 a referendum about the type of government - presidential republic, parliamentary republic or constitutional monarchy - and presidential republic was chosed.

The ceremonies

In Brazil, all government functionaries must take the oath of office in presence of a superior and than go to office. The same is true for the President of Brazil, but his only superior is the B razilian people (represented by the deputies) and his office is Planalto Palace.

The cathedral

The cathedral is at the beginning of Ministries Esplanade and the inauguration starts in front of it. The President-elect takes the Presidencial Rolls Royce (only seen at few ceremonies) and parade to Nacional Congress escort by Independence Dragoons.

As Brazil is a lay country, a mass isn`t obligatory in the inauguration. Sometimes it is included as a personal wish of the Presiden-elect and he takes the Rolls Royce after the end of it.

The Vice-President-elect goes in Presidencial Rolls Royce by the left of the President-elect or in anorther car just after him.

Constitutional commitment

Arriving at the National Congress, they are received by the President of Senate and the President of Chamber (House of Representatives). Inside the Chamber, they take the oath of office and sign the commitment. At that time, they become President of Republic and Vice-President of Republic. The National Anthem is played and the Inaugural Address is given, than the President of Senate speeches.

Exiting the National Congress, the National Anthem is once again played and followed by 21-gun salute by Cayenne Battery. As the President is the commander-in-chief of Armed Forces, he is received by the Presidential Guard Battalion (Army), Navy and Air Force troops presenting arms.

At that time, he takes the Presidencial Rolls Royce to the Planalto Palace.

Presidential sash

At Planalto Palace, they are received by the Ex-President upon the entrance ramp (only used in state ceremonies). Indoor or on the platform (named "Parlance", similar to a balcony) the Ex-President hand over the presidential sash to new President. The National Anthem is played for the third time.

Ex-President departure

The President escorts the ex-President to the main door and he goes down the ramp to an official car that takes him to home or to airport.

Public Address

At the Parlance, the Public Address (similar the Inaugural but smaller and informal) is given.


The first duty is the appointment of Minister of Justice and than all the other ministers.

The greetings

After a free time for bath and rest, the President is ready for heads of mission greetings at Planalto Palace.


Later night, the President celebrates with VIPs at Alvorada Palace or Itamaraty Palace.


President Lula had a most popular presidential inauguration. Citizens from all corners of Brazil went to the capital for the ceremonies. There were 3 innovations:
*Concerts before the ceremonies for those who arrived early. One main stage at Square of the Three Powers and others ones around the Esplanade`s lawns.
*Other Presidents have their ceremonies transmitted by TV. This time, Screens was put around the Esplanade and secondary rooms of National Congress and Planalto Palace so everyone could see everything.
*Secondary parade: before the appointments, the President parade through the Espladade with presidencial sash so everyone could see him personally, than back to Planalto Palace.

It is unknown if the next President will keep these innovations.

Inauguration Day

The first ceremonies (Old Republic) were at November 15th. On Second Republic, it changed into January 31th. On military political period, it happens at March 15th.The constitution of 1988 established January 1st, but some deputies are trying to change into January 3rd.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro was brazilian capital before Brasilia`s construction. The ceremonies were different but had similar format. It started at Tiradentes Palace (National Congress in Rio de Janeiro) than the President parade into Catete Palace in the Presidencial Rolls Royce. After dressing the presidencial sash, the President appears on the balcony. The appointments, greetings and reception were at Catete Palace.

External links

* [ Images at Presidency site]


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