This has been declared by the electoral officials of Kenya Guillem Ruto the winner of their election in a contentious political battle, with just over half of the East African nation’s votes. However, many remain skeptical about the outcome and this uncertainty has spurred mass protests in some Kenyan cities.
Former prime minister Raila Odingawho had unsuccessfully contested the presidency four times before, suffered a narrow loss with 48.85 percent of the vote to Ruto’s 50.49 percent. CBS News reports. The election was so close that four out of seven election officials seemed dissatisfied with the outcome after about a week of the entire nation waiting for the results.
“We cannot take responsibility for the result that will be announced,” Juliana Cherera, vice chairperson of the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission of Kenya, told reporters before declaring the winner. The split in the IEBC led to two commissioners being injured, according to a claim by its chairman Wafula Chebukati.
PICTURES: World Week Review: Obama calls for peaceful elections in Kenya
PICTURES: What we know about the Nairobi mall attack
Odinga’s team must now decide whether to take their fight to court. He has the support of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta, whose relationship with Ruto has soured since 2018, when Kenyatta originally backed Odinga. according to The Africa Report. Most observers expect litigation over the election to begin before long. So much is at stake: much of the economy of this entire region of the African continent depends on Kenya remaining a stable nation.
Meanwhile, Odinga’s supporters are mocking the outcome of the election and waiting for an opportunity to contest it. Odinga’s spokesman Makau Mutua, who had been a member of the judiciary, tweeted that the IEBC has no power to declare Ruto the winner.
Meanwhile, protests erupted from parts of the capital Nairobi to Kisumu, Odinga’s main support area, with protesters clashing with police. “The government must listen to us. They must redo the elections,” Isaac Onyango, 24, he told Agence France-Presse while the police fired tear gas into the crowd.
But Ruto’s supporters were elated and also made their voices heard. “The reason I believe in William Ruto is because he believes in hustler nation. Hustler nation means everyone in their own hustle, in their own small business. He even believes in the wheelbarrow economy,” Francisco Soledada supporter, he told AfricaNews. “He is a man who understands our country in general. He knows what we want.”
Meanwhile, Odinga spoke publicly on Tuesday (16 August) in a televised address where he was adamant that his coalition “totally and unreservedly rejects the presidential results”.
Odinga took to the stage shortly after four dissenting electoral commissioners held a press conference at a different venue, in which they accused the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of misconduct.
CNN reports that dissident commissioners he noted that the aggregate vote percentages were 100.1 percent, a discrepancy of 0.01 percent.