In East African Kenya, former Vice President William Ruto was elected the new head of state. The 55-year-old won the Aug. 9 vote by 50.49 percent, or 7,176,141 votes, Election Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati said on Monday. Ruto emerged victorious by a narrow margin over longtime opposition leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga.
Odinga, 77, received 48.85% or 6,942,930 of the votes. Ruto succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta, who led the country for more than ten years and was not allowed to run again after two legislatures.
protests in nairobi
After the election results were announced, riots broke out in the voting center. Diplomats and international observers were expelled from the building where the votes were counted.
After the election results were announced, Ruto announced that he would work with “all” major politicians. “There is no place for revenge,” Ruto said, adding, “I am very aware that our country is at a point where we need all hands on deck.”
Odinga initially did not comment on the official election result. Protests erupted in a slum in the capital Nairobi, where he has a lot of support. The police fired shots with live ammunition. In the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, police used tear gas against protesters who threw stones and blocked roads.
The election was seen as a major test of the stability of East Africa’s largest economy after two of the last three elections were marred by violence following disputes over allegations of manipulation. After huge spending on infrastructure projects, Kenyatta leaves behind a heavily indebted state. In addition, the outgoing head of state failed to control widespread corruption. (apa, dpa, reu)