Home WORLD AFRICA Kenya: Electoral Commission declares William Ruto winner of presidential election

Kenya: Electoral Commission declares William Ruto winner of presidential election

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Wafula Chebukati announced that outgoing vice-president William Ruto had accumulated more than 7.17 million votes, or 50.49% of the vote (compared to 6.94 million, or 48.85%, for Mr. Odinga), winning the one of the tightest elections in the country’s history.

William Samoei Ruto becomes Kenya’s fifth president, succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta who, after serving two terms since 2013, was barred from running for a third.

Mr Ruto edged Mr Odinga by 233,211 votes after a generally peaceful campaign and poll followed by an interminable six-day wait that tested the patience of Kenyans.

Mr. Ruto becomes the first member of the Kalenjin ethnic group to be elected president in twenty years, succeeding two presidents from the Kikuyu community.

At 55, the ambitious Ruto has campaigned hard in recent years as he was sidelined by an unexpected alliance between Kenyatta and Odinga, working to polish his sulphurous reputation.

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This child of a modest family in the Rift Valley who became one of the first fortunes of the country likes to recall his story of self-made man started from scratch and proclaimed himself the spokesperson for the resourcefulof the common people, against the power of the political dynasties embodied by Kenyatta and Odinga.

By midday, the Electoral Commission’s national counting center, on which the eyes of the whole country are riveted, had filled with party representatives, observers and diplomats, who waited for the announcement for several hours, entertained by choirs, under heavy police surveillance.

A few minutes before this announcement, four of the seven commissioners of theIEBC held a press conference in a hotel in the capital to announce that they rejected these results.

Due to the opaqueness of the process […] we cannot take responsibility for the results that are going to be announcedsaid the vice-president of theIEBC Juliana Cherera surrounded by three other commissioners.

She called on Kenyans to calm.

The 2022 election was held peacefully, but was marked by a sharp drop in turnout: around 65% of the 22.1 million voters turned out at the polls on Tuesday, down from 78% in the last poll in 2017.

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