Even though there was a lot of confusion and one of Kenya’s top election officials was physically attacked, the country’s elections commission has announced that Deputy President William Ruto will be the next president of Kenya.
Ruto emerged victorious in an election marked by high drama and shifting alliances, defeating Raila Odinga, Kenya’s longtime opposition leader. Odinga had formed an alliance with outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, which his supporters believed would guarantee him the presidency. Ruto’s victory over Odinga was marked by high drama and shifting alliances. But after six days of counting, and just as the electoral commission was ready to announce a final tally on Monday, four out of the seven electoral commissioners walked out of the main tallying center in Nairobi, saying that they could not support the final result due to the “opaque nature” of the vote count.
Even yet, the commission’s head, Wafula Chebukati, made his way onto the stage, which led to complete anarchy. A senator went after him with an assault. Others rushed the platform, tore flags, pushed over the lectern, and attacked the election commissioners who were still there. Chebukati went to the podium once more and announced that Ruto had won the election by a razor-thin margin, receiving 50.49 percent of the vote to Odinga’s 48.85 percent. Two of them were hurt during the process.
“There is a constitutional obligation that must be fulfilled,” he stated. That is why I am here in front of you today despite the threats and the harassment that I have received. I swore an oath of office to serve this country, and I believe that I have discharged that responsibility in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and the laws that are in effect in this country.
In East Africa, a region where authoritarianism has been on the rise, Kenya stands out as a shining example of democratic governance. Because of the politically astute nature of the campaign that led up to these elections, they have been praised as a significant step forward for democracy in Kenya. Instead of focusing on ethnic issues, which has been the case in every election in Kenya since the country got its independence, politicians turned their attention to economic issues.
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Additionally, these elections began as the most open and honest contests the nation has ever seen. Within a few short hours of the polls closing, the electoral commission began posting raw voting statistics from more than 46,000 polling locations across the country. This meant that the vote tally could be tallied and checked by anybody, not just the election commission.
Reconciliation was the topic of incoming President-elect William Ruto’s first address in his new role. He said that he wouldn’t try to get back at his political opponents and would instead urge Kenyans to work together and find things they have in common.