from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – WILLIAM Ruto has been announced as Kenya’s president-elect.
He narrowly defeated Raila Odinga, the former Prime Minister, who has lost for the fifth time the race for the top job.
Ruto polled 7 176 141 votes (50,49 percent) to the 6 942 930 for (48,85) for Odinga.
Wafula Chebukati, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced the results at the National Tallying Centre at Bomas of Kenya outside Nairobi.
This followed a closely-fought election in East Africa’s biggest economy and its most vibrant democracy.
Ruto (55) is in line to be the fifth president, to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta, who has been in power since 2013.
The announcement by the IEBC comes amid days of anxiety after the country went to polls last Tuesday.
The rescheduling of the announcement by more than three hours from the initial 3pm local time added to the apprehension.
Despite the close poll, voter turnout was relatively low at over 60 percent of the 22 million registered voters.
There was a heavy police presence following clashes inside the centre in the run-up to the announcement.
Ruto leads the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), formed in 2020 after his fallout with Kenyatta.
He has been deputy since 2013.
Ruto led the Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) coalition in this poll.
Born in Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County, he holds a BSc in Botany and Zoology from the University of Nairobi.
He was a live chicken hawker during his youth, hence the self-declared moniker as champion of Kenya’s “hustler nation”.
– CAJ News