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Number of firsts announced for President's swearing-in ceremony

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

A six-hour ceremony including special Mass at the Dar tal-Providenza will lead to the new President taking her oath next Friday.

Addressing a news conference this afternoon, deputy chief of staff at the Office of the Prime Minister Mark Farrugia and spokeswoman Melissa Vella said the ceremony will start from Luqa at 2pm where Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca will bid farewell to her constituents.

She will then proceed to the Dar tal-Providenza in Siggiewi where Mass marking the start of the Presidency will be held under a large tent that will house some 1,000 guests.

A number of disabled people will take part in the Mass and form part of a children’s choir.

Mass is being held at the Dar tal-Providenza as it was the President-designate wish to promote the President’s visibility among the most vulnerable.

At the end of Mass a Maltese flag will be presented to the President designate by the representatives of political parties.

After Mass, Ms Coleiro-Preca will proceed to Qormi where she will bid farewell to her constituents.

In Valletta she will walk through Republic Street to the Palace in St George’s Square for the swearing in ceremony.

On her personal wish, a number of disabled and other vulnerable people will be following proceedings from a large screen in the Palace courtyard and will then get the opportunity to meet the President in person.

For the first time, she will salute the crowd from the balcony flanked by the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader, portraying a sign of unity.

The national anthem, normally played by the AFM band, will be accompanied by a number of singers and all those present will be encouraged to sing along.

From Valletta, Ms Coleiro-Preca will proceed to Floriana to place wreaths at foot of the war monument.

She will then head on to San Anton Palace for formal meetings with the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition

On April 5, the new President will head on to Gozo for a day of activities that will include the inauguration of Dar Emmaus, a home for people suffering from domestic violence.

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