By: Zakeriye Ahmed, Horn diplomat correspondent
William Samoei Arap Ruto, the outgoing deputy president, was elected Kenya’s fifth president on August 9, as the independent electoral and boundary commission chairman, Wafula Chebukati, announced.
Independent Electoral and Border Guard Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto got 7.17 million votes, equivalent to 50.49%, David Mwaure got 31,987 thousand votes, George Wajackoyah got 61,969 thousand votes, while Kenya’s longtime opposition leader, Raila Amolo Odinga, got 6.94 million votes, equal to 48.85%.
The 55 years old William Ruto defeated his opponent Kenya’s longtime opposition leader, Raila Omolo Odinga, who didn’t attend the declaration of the presidential election result.
“I want to promise the people of Kenya that I will run a democratic government, and I will work with the opposition to the extent that they oversight the government,” William Ruto said.
Shortly before Wafula Chebukati announced the results, four of the seven Kenya’s IEBC board members refused to recognize the results, raising fears of violence in the hotly contested election.
“We cannot take responsibility for the results that will be announced,” IEBC deputy chairperson Juliana Cherera told the media before the official announcement.
Who is William Samoei Arap Ruto?
Born in Sambut Village, Kamagut, Uasin Gishu County, in 1966, as a teenager, Ruto used to sell peanuts and chickens barefoot on roadsides and went to primary school barefoot.
William Ruto graduated from the University of Nairobi PhD in 2018, joined politics in 1992, and has served as Kenya’s deputy president since 2013.
In December 2020, Ruto announced his alliance with the newly formed United Democratic Alliance party. He is the only 2022 presidential candidate who attended the 2022 presidential debate, while his opponent Raila Odinga refused.
In December 2010, the International Criminal Court announced seeking the summons of six people, including Ruto, over their involvement in the 2007/2008 electoral violence, but in April 2016, the International Criminal Court abandoned Ruto’s prosecution.
After 30 years in politics, from Eldoret North constituency MPs, Ruto has held various positions in the government of Kenya, such as Minister and Kenya’s deputy president since 2013. Finally, he became Kenya’s fifth president.