The conservative politician took the presidential oath of office for the second time at the seat of Congress in Valparaiso
VALPARAISO, Chile – Conservative politician Sebastian Piñera took on Sunday the presidential oath of office for the second time at the seat of Congress in Valparaiso in a ceremony attended by around 1,400 people.
“I swear,” the 68-year-old Piñera said after the head of the Senate, socialist Carlos Montes, posed the traditional query: “Do you swear or promise to faithfully execute the Office of President of the Republic, to preserve the nation’s liberty and to protect the Constitution and its laws?”
Outgoing President Michelle Bachelet then handed Montes the presidential sash, although he – in turn – appeared to have some difficulty placing it across Piñera’s chest, prompting Bachelet to jump to his assistance and ask “May I help you, Carlos?” to polite laughter from those present.
Following the singing of the national anthem, Bachelet, her ministers and collaborators left the room, allowing the new president’s cabinet to take their oaths of office.
The new cabinet is headed by Andres Chadwick as interior and public safety minister, a position he held during Piñera’s first administration (2010-2014).
After the formal investitures, the newly-inaugurated president then left the building and was driven away in a convertible amid military honors accorded to him and waving to the admittedly low number of spectators along the sidewalks.
Piñera plans to return to Santiago later on Sunday, after hosting a luncheon for guests from abroad at the Cerro Castillo Palace in Viña del Mar.