William Ruto defeats Raila Odinga to win Kenyan presidency


Ruto won with 50.49% of the vote, narrowly beating veteran opposition leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga, who was contesting his fifth election.

He will become Kenya’s fifth president since independence, winning the seat on his first attempt. Ruto’s party, the Kenya First Coalition, won the majority of seats in Kenya’s Senate, the second highest in the National Assembly.

During a speech on Monday, Ruto said: “It is God who brought us here…my team and I will ensure that the sacrifices made by many Kenyans are not in vain…we will not let them not fall. I am confident that this country will unite and that we can move forward as a democratic nation.”

“I will lead a transparent, open and democratic government and I will work with the opposition to the extent that they control my administration,” he added.

The response to Kenya’s presidential election results on Monday night was divided. In Eldoret, live footage from Ruto’s hometown showed large crowds celebrating and cheering his victory.

But in Kisumu, Odinga’s stronghold, protests broke out. Live footage showed dozens of people protesting the election results, burning tires and smoke billowing in the air.

Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua also caught on Twitter after the results were announced and said, “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Chaos over results

Earlier on Monday, rival Odinga’s coalition rejected the election results even before they were announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC).

Odinga’s chief agent, Saitabao Kanchory, told reporters outside the National Elections Center in Nairobi that they had not yet been able to verify the final result with their own tally.

“Once we see them we want to verify them, when we verify them we will be able to know and tell the people of Kenya because a result that is not verifiable is not a result,” said Kanchory to reporters awaiting results. announcement.

The national tally center briefly descended into chaos shortly after Odinga’s coalition rejected the results, fighting broke out and chairs were thrown into the building.

The country’s electoral commission has been split as four officials disagreed with the results of commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, officials said at an earlier news conference.

IEBC Vice President Juliana Cherera was among those who challenged the results, but offered no evidence of irregularities.

The “Chief Hustler”

Analysts had predicted a victory for Odinga, given his performance in opinion polls and the support he received from outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

But Ruto’s populist “man of the people” approach, which rejected political dynasties and played on anti-elite sentiment in the country, endeared him to voters.

He managed to transcend Kenya’s traditionally dynastic politics to beat Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first vice president.

During the campaign, Ruto described himself as “the hustler in chief”, citing his humble beginnings as a chicken seller who worked his way to the top of Kenyan politics.

Political analyst Herman Manyora told CNN ahead of the election that “Ruto got young people excited…almost in a euphoric sense.”

Ruto, a former teacher with a PhD in plant ecology from the University of Nairobi, has pledged to prioritize Kenya’s economy and “uplift ordinary citizens” as president.

He will be under pressure to provide solutions to Kenya’s pressing economic problems, including growing debt, high food and fuel prices and massive youth unemployment.

Ruto has a long and varied history in Kenyan politics and was also tried alongside President Kenyatta in 2013 at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands for alleged crimes against humanity following deadly violence during the Kenyan elections. 2007. However, the charges were later dismissed.




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