Kenya: William Ruto is new President after delayed result announcement
Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto has been declared the next President of Kenya by election commission on Monday. Ruto won the presidential election with 50.49 per cent of the vote, winning the close presidential election by defeating veteran opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, for whom these were the fifth election.
William Ruto has become Kenya’s fifth President since its independence, winning his first presidential election attempt. Ruto’s party, the Kenya First coalition party, has won a majority of seats in Kenya’s senate, which is the second highest in the National Assembly.
Just before the results were announced by electoral commission, chaos erupted with four out of seven electoral commissioners calling the results as “opaque” and rejecting the outcome. “We are not able to take ownership of the results that will be announced,” said the deputy chair of the electoral commission, Juliana Cherera. The opposing officials have staged their own press conference at another venue disputing the Kenyan presidential election results. The IEBC’s vice chair Juliana Cherera was among the officials who disagreed with the results announced by electoral commission however, no evidence of irregularities was provided.
Earlier on Monday, Ruto’s rival Raila Odinga’s coalition had also rejected the election results even before they were announced by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Odinga’s chief agent Saitabao Kanchory told the media addressing outside the national election center in Nairobi that they “had not yet been able to cross check 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 to tell the Kenyan people, because a result that is not verifiable is not a result.” Kanchory told reporters awaiting the results announcement.
Meanwhile, Ruto’s supporters are rejoicing his well deserved win. “He started from the very bottom and has kept rising up, so it makes us hopeful that he will empower Kenyans at the bottom, because he knows what it’s like to face problems,” said Miriam Wangeci Karuga, 36, an informal worker in Nairobi.