BUENOS AIRES - An unusual conflict in Argentina over the investiture ceremony of new president Mauricio Macri was resolved Tuesday with outgoing President Cristina Fernandez deciding not to attend the power transfer ceremony Thursday.
Oscar Parrilli, a close aide of Fernandez said the conditions were not conducive for the president to attend the ceremony.
"Between this and a coup there is very little difference," said Parrilli, who attended meetings with Macri representatives Tuesday to try and reach an agreement on the transfer of power ceremony.
The unusual controversy has tarnished the Argentine transition and deepened in the last few hours as Fernandez and Macri clashed over the location of the swearing-in ceremony.
The disagreement led Macri request for an injunction to the Supreme Court Tuesday and the prosecutor who received the case, Jorge di Lello, ruled in favor of Macri leading to Fernandez's decision of not attending the ceremony.
Under the Constitution, the president must be sworn in the Congress, but there is no specific regulation on how or where to receive the attributes of command, the presidential staff and sash.
Mauricio Macri wants to be sworn in the Congress and then receive the staff and the sash in a solemn ceremony at the Pink House while Fernandez wanted the whole process to be held in Parliament.
Macri also wanted to avoid a Kirchner mobilization summoned in front of the Congress during the ceremony that would overshadow his inauguration while Fernandez refused to give in for days in a last show of power.
Traditionally, the swearing-in ceremonies of presidents were held in Congress who were then taken to the Pink House to receive the staff and sash until Nestor Kirchner in 2003 decided to have the entire ceremony in the parliament, setting a custom taken forward by his wife and successor during her two terms.
Following the decision of Fernandez, Macri will be sworn-in in Congress by his Vice President, Gabriela Michetti, said Argentine coalition alliance Cambiemos.
Even before he had won the elections, Macri had joked about his inauguration ceremony saying "photographers are going to fight for the picture of Cristina giving me the presidential sash."
"It will be a very special moment," he had said without probably thinking there would be no such photo and that his inauguration would be the most controversial since the return of democracy to the country.