Kenyans have been waiting for the name of their future president for six days, but the announcement of the results did not dispel all doubts. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced on Monday, August 15, that William Ruto, outgoing vice-president, won the election. According to IEBC president, Wafula Chebukati, William Ruto gathered more than 7.17 million votes, or 50.49% of the votes, against 6.94 million (48.85%) for Raila Odinga.
Mr. Chebukati admits to suffering “bullying and harassment”. A few minutes before his announcement, the vice-president of this independent body warned that four of the seven members of the Commission rejected the consequences to come. “due to the opaque nature of the process”.
“People can go to court and therefore we call on Kenyans to be calm because the rule of law will prevail”added Juliana Cherera, as tensions rose and riots broke out at the center where the Commission (IEBC) was in charge of the results.
#Kenya Chaos is complete, people are fighting or being chased away by riot police #Bomas… https://t.co/LLPvJKkTXs
“I will work with all the leaders” policies, in a country “transparent, open and democratic”assured William Ruto in his speech after the announcement of the results. “No place for revenge”he continued, thinking “full consciousness” than in Kenya “It’s at a stage where we need everyone on deck”.
In Eldoret, Mr. Ruto’s stronghold, a crowd of several thousand people expressed their joy. At the same time, violence erupted in some popular areas of Nairobi, including Mathare and Kibera, two Odinga strongholds, when Ruto’s victory was announced. In Kisumu, another Odinga stronghold, police fired tear gas at protesters.
The election has high stakes
The Electoral Commission was under pressure for six days. It was strongly criticized five years ago, after the presidential election was invalidated by the Supreme Court – the first in Africa. On Friday, he acknowledged that the collection, counting and verification of results took longer than expected, slowed down, he said, by the interference of political party supporters.
About 22.1 million voters were called to the polls on August 9 to appoint the successor to outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, as well as their governors, parliamentarians and about 1,500 local elected officials. A high-stakes election is shaping up to be very close.
At the age of 55, the ambitious William Ruto, despite his status as vice-president, was a challenger during the election campaign, facing Raila Odinga, 77, an opposition veteran who is now supported by power.
Several rounds of post-election violence
The ballot was largely peaceful. With a turnout of around 65% – compared to 78% in August 2017 – it was, however, marked by a sharp increase in abstention, against a backdrop of disillusionment with the political class and the rise in the cost of living since then. war in Ukraine.
On Sunday, going to churches in Nairobi, the capital of this very religious country, MM. Both Ruto and Odinga have called for calm despite the fever rising within their respective parties.
During the campaign, they assured that they will respect the results of the free and fair election, promising that justice will be given to their possible grievances. Due to the small difference in votes – about 233,000 – the appeal to the Supreme Court was almost without doubt.
Kenya is a democratic anchor in a troubled East African region, but it has experienced several rounds of post-election violence, sometimes deadly, especially in 2007-2008 (more than 1,100 dead, hundreds of thousands displaced ).
The results of all presidential elections have been contested there since 2002, either in the streets or in the courts.