NEWS Politics

William Ruto Elected Kenya’s President amid Disputes
Despite a dramatic dispute over the outcome, William Ruto’s victory in Kenya’s presidential election has been widely celebrated around the world.
Mr Ruto defeated rival Raila Odinga, receiving 50.5% of the vote.

The announcement was postponed due to squabbles at the results center and allegations of vote-rigging by Mr Odinga’s campaign.
He has not yet spoken, but an ally told the BBC that Mr Odinga found the outcome “unacceptable.”

“It lacks credibility because four of the seven [election commission] commissioners have stated that they did not sign on to the announcement that Mr Ruto was lawfully elected,” Salim Lone said.
He was referring to the commissioners’ refusal to endorse the presidential result, claiming that the process had been “opaque.” They provided no additional information on Monday.
After a period of celebration and violent protests following the announcement of the results, most parts of the country have returned to normalcy.

Thousands of residents in Mr Ruto’s home town of Eldoret in the Rift Valley burst into song and dance. However, the mood was different in Mr Odinga’s political base in the western city of Kisumu, where residents protested the loss by erecting burning tyres and barricades.

Mr Ruto called for unity in his acceptance speech, saying he wanted to be a president for all and for the country to focus on the future.
“I want to assure those who have done many things against us that they have nothing to fear. There will be no retaliation. “We don’t have time to look back,” he added

He also praised Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the electoral commission, for conducting a fair election.

Despite threats, Mr Chebukati said he had done his job.

Mr Ruto, 55, was running for president for the first time. He has been deputy president for nine years, but he had a falling out with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who supported Mr Odinga for the presidency.
The 77-year-old former prime minister was running for president for the fifth time, with 48.8% of the vote.

Mr Ruto framed the election as a battle between “hustlers,” or poor Kenyans, and “dynasties,” or powerful families like the Kenyattas and Odingas, who have been major players in Kenyan politics since independence.
Unlike previous elections, the campaigns were dominated by issues such as how to address rising living costs, fix the economy, and combat corruption, rather than overt ethnic mobilization.

Analysts believe Mr Odinga will challenge the outcome.

The Kenyan Supreme Court declared the last election invalid and ordered a rerun; it may have to make another major decision in the coming weeks.

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