William Ruto, the former deputy president of Kenya has won the Presidential election with a vote margin on 50.49 percent to defeat five-time runner, Raila Odinga who gathered 40.85 percent of the votes.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga received the support of the incumbent President Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta in his bid for the presidency. Mr. Odinga has made five unsuccessful attempts to win the presidency. At 77 years old, he informed the BBC that this would be his final effort.
Election results in Kenya have always been based on ethnicity. Both Mr. Odinga and Mr. Ruto received almost unanimous support from their respective groups, the Luo along Lake Victoria and the Kalenjin in the Rift Valley.
However, during the campaigns, a class-based component arose that skewed the vote in Mr. Ruto’s favour.
The Tipping Point
Mr. Ruto had claimed to voters that he was the son of a nobody who had made it to the top of Kenyan politics from selling live chickens by the side of the road. To honor his modest upbringing, he created the term “hustler nation”
His catchphrase helped him gain widespread support and steered the conversation away from ethnic identification and toward economy. Ruto also received criticism for running a social media-based campaign.
What’s happening now
Violent Protests have spread across the Kisumu and Kibera provinces which are part of Odinga’s stronghold. They are alleging that the votes have been rigged.
There are also hints of a court challenge by the Odinga camp. Kenyan electoral law allows seven days for election appeals after a result is declared. In 2017, an appeal by Odinga led the supreme court to call for a re-run.
The president of Somalia has congratulated William Ruto, the incoming president of Kenya. Although the Neighbours in East Africa have close ties, diplomatic relations have deteriorated recently, in part due to a dispute over sea territory.
In a direct message, the Somali president’s office urged “stronger bilateral relations” and more collaboration.