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William Ruto Declared Winner of Kenya’s Presidential Election

Official results showed that Ruto, the current deputy president, won 50.5% of the vote, beating the longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga and narrowly avoiding a run-off. But chaos erupted minutes before the results were announced, with four out of seven electoral commissioners saying they disowned the outcome, which they termed “opaque”. “We are not able to take ownership of the results that will be announced,” said the deputy chair of the electoral commission, Juliana Cherera. The sudden declaration prompted fears that vote-rigging allegations could lead to a legal challenge or even deadly violence like the country witnessed after 2007 and 2017 presidential polls. Cherera tried to allay concerns by advising those involved to take their complaints to court. As news of the results filtered through to Odinga’s stronghold of Kisumu, there were some outbreaks of violence. In one area, protesters congregated on a roundabout, throwing stones, setting tyres on fire and throwing up roadblocks with broken rocks. If the electoral commission’s announcement holds, Ruto will take over the reins of the country at an economically turbulent time. Kenya’s inequality has been laid bare by a cost of living crisis that has been fuelled by the Covid pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine.