Nairobi: Vice President William Ruto was declared the winner of Kenya’s bitter presidential election on Monday, but the announcement was embroiled in controversy after several members of the Electoral Commission rejected the results. IEBC) chairman Wahra Chebkati said Ruto received about 7.18 million votes (50.49%) in the August 9 poll.

“Despite threats and harassment, I stand before you. I have fulfilled my obligations in accordance with the laws of the country,” Chebkati said. “By law, I … hereby declare that Rut William Samoyei has been duly elected President.” Shortly before his announcement, four out of seven IEBC commissioners recognized the result. It said it could not, sparking fears of manipulation in carefully monitored polls in the East African political and economic powerhouse.

Ruto, a 55-year-old ragtag businessman, characterizes the vote as a battle between the ordinary ‘hustlers’ and the ‘dynasties’ that have ruled Kenya since independence from Britain in 1963. I was. After the results were announced, he swore: Working with Kenya’s ‘all leaders’. “There is no room for revenge,” Mr. Ruto said, adding: “I am keenly aware that our country is at a stage where it is necessary to mobilize all forces.”

The result was a stinging blow to 77-year-old veteran opposition leader Odinga, who lost weight in the ruling party after signing a deal with outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta that resulted in a surprising change of allegiance in 2018. I was carrying. The East African nation was already nervous by waiting days for the results of the race.

But in a shocking announcement, IEBC Vice-Chairman Juliana Cerrera told reporters that she and three colleagues would not be able to “take ownership of the results to be announced” and called the process “opaque”. “But we are keeping our doors open for people to come to court. For the same reason, we urge Kenyans to seek peace because the rule of law will prevail.” she added.

As chaos reigned, a brawl erupted at the IEBC’s heavily guarded national tallying center in Nairobi, with some people seen throwing chairs just before Chebkaty’s announcement. polls were largely peaceful in the region’s political and economic powerhouses, but memories of voter fraud and deadly violence in 2007-08 and 2017 still loom large. IEBC was under intense pressure to hold clean elections after facing scathing criticism for its handling of the 2017 elections.

Kenyans voted in six elections to select a new president, senators, governors, members of parliament, women legislators and about 1,500 county officials. Kenyatta, the 60-year-old son of the first post-independence president, was unable to run again after serving two terms. The winner of the presidential election required him to secure 50% plus one vote and at least a quarter of the vote in 24 of his 47 counties in Kenya.

With elections so close, observers say a Supreme Court appeal from losing candidate Odinga is almost certain, and it could be weeks before a new president takes office. Turnout on the day was lower than expected at about 65% of Kenya’s 22 million registered voters, compared to about 78% in the last election in 2017. Observers have blamed disillusionment with the political elite, especially among youth in countries battling heavy costs. A livelihood crisis and a severe drought that has starved millions of people.

Lawyer David Mwaure, one of four presidential candidates along with former spy George Wajakoya, won a crucial gubernatorial election on Sunday when Johnson Sakaja secured control of Nairobi, Kenya’s richest city. For the first time in history for Africa, the results of the 2017 election were annulled by the Supreme Court after Odinga challenged the results.

Dozens died in the post-election chaos, blamed on police brutality. Kenyatta went on to win reruns in October after a boycott by Odinga. The worst election violence in Kenya’s history occurred after his 2007 contested vote in which more than 1,100 people died in bloodshed between rival tribes. – AFP

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