New Delhi: Today Donald Trump will take over as the 45th the United States, 10 weeks after his stunning victory in the US elections. The world will watch and keep track of what Trump says in his inaugural address. He will replace Barack Obama in the White House in a ceremony that dates back to George Washington.
Time, place of Trump's Presidential inauguration
The inauguration will happen at around 10 30 pm IST. The main ceremony is held at the White House, followed by a number of Inaugural Balls across Washington DC. Swearing-in ceremony happens on the steps in front of the Capitol.
Why gap between election and presidential inauguration
The US elections were held on November 8, 2016, but Trump officially becomes President on January 20. Until 1933, the new president was inaugurated on March 4, four months after election day. This time gap was later shortened to about two months.
The time gap allows the incumbent, or 'lame duck', president to tie up any loose ends, and a new president to prepare for his term by working on policy and appointing his cabinet.
But the main reason is to allow for the elections to continue. On November 8, members of the public cast their votes – but not directly for who they want to be president.Americans vote for people called 'electors' in their state who are supporting the candidate they want to become president, a process referred to as the 'Electoral College'.
The more people who live in a state, the more electors there are for that state. The candidate with the most electors wins all the state's electoral college votes and the first candidate to win enough states to get to 270 electoral votes is elected to that office.
Mr Trump was declared officially the president-elect when the Texas votes were counted, pushing him over the 270-vote threshold. After the December 19 vote, Mr Trump finished with 304 electoral votes and his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton got 227. Seven electors defied convention and went against the popular vote, refusing to vote for either candidate.
The Dec 19 results were later confirmed by Congress on Jan 6.
The Oath of Office
Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court will administer the oath on the steps of the United States Capitol Building.
The oath will be something like this:
I Donald J Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God
Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, will take the oath shortly before Mr Trump.
Will Obama attend the inauguration?
It is customary for the outgoing president to attend the inauguration of the incoming president, however, it is not compulsory.
President Obama likely to be there. If he does not attend, then he would be the first president for 96 years to make such a snub.
Who else will attend
Former presidents George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will be attending along with their wives, the former first ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter.
Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton will come face-to-face for the first time since the elections.
The real show
Prior to Trump’s address there will probably be musical performances and words from religious leaders.
Then, there will be a departure ceremony for Obama and his family.
Then Trump will attend the traditional Congressional luncheon and take part in the inaugural parade.
Then his motorcade will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.
The White House handover
Barack Obama will wake up in the White House on the morning of January 20. That night, Donald Trump will go to sleep for the first time in his new home.
The White House changes hands instantaneously.
While the inaugural ceremonies are on, White House staff will be moving out the remnants of the Obama administration, and the residence and offices will be prepared for their new inhabitants.
The next morning, Trump will walk from his new residence to the West Wing to attend to his duties as President of the United States.
Inaugural balls will be held across Washington to mark Trump's ascent to the presidency. They will feature dancing and entertainment and appearances by President and First Lady Trump, and Vice President and Mrs. Pence.