William Samoei Ruto was sworn in as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya on Tuesday, September 13. Five weeks after the August 9 election, the 55-year-old took the oath of office on a copy of Kenya’s constitution, gaining control of a country racked by drought and a cost-of-living crisis.
Ruto took the oath of office in front of almost 20 heads of state at a packed stadium in Kasarani.
In the presence of Chief Justice Martha Koome, he was sworn in by Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.
On August 15, he was declared the winner after defeating long-time Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who then petitioned for victory in the Supreme Court, where the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
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Raila Odinga, the defeated candidate, did not attend, citing “severe misgivings” about his opponent’s victory. Mr. Ruto received 50.5% of the vote, while Mr. Odinga received 48.8%.
Mr. Odinga claimed that the election was manipulated, but the Supreme Court determined that it was free and fair.
At least eight people were reported to have been hurt in a throng as they jostled to get into the stadium to see Mr. Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua were sworn in.
Ruto now has the arduous task of navigating a polarized society besieged by a cost-of-living crisis and devastating drought.