Kenya’s electoral commission announced William Ruto as the country’s new president on Monday, amid a ceremony marked by fights and contestation of the results by senior officials of the electoral body.
Ruto, who is the country’s current vice president, appeared ahead of opposition leader Raila Odinga in polls released after Kenyans went to the polls last Tuesday (9). Official percentages have not yet been released.
However, the planned announcement of the results of the presidential elections in Kenya turned into chaotic scenes after the vice president of the electoral commission and three other commissioners repudiated the results of the presidential elections minutes before Ruto’s victory was announced. “We cannot appropriate the results that will be announced,” Juliana Cherera, vice president of the electoral commission, told a news conference.
Diplomats were even taken out of the counting room where the president of the electoral commission was preparing to announce the results. Kenya has a history of post-election violence, and the commission’s slow progress in counting votes has fueled fears that the election would be contested, leading to bloody scenes like those that followed presidential elections in 2007 and 2017.
In a statement after the results were released, Ruto called the electoral commission a heroin and said that the body surprised everyone. According to him, there were no losers in this year’s elections, which would have focused more on country issues than on ethnic configurations. “The Kenyan people won because we raised the political bar,” he said.