The head of the Kenya high electoral board announced that candidate William Ruto had won the presidential race, but four out of seven members of the seven Kenya election boards announced that they rejected the results, citing uncertainties in the vote counting process.
In his first statement, Ruto gave the message that he would work with all other political party leaders in the country.
The country’s votes have been counted since last Tuesday, and criticism and concerns arose as the result took a long time to be announced.
Vice President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga competed for the presidential seat in Kenya. Election authorities announced on Monday that they will announce the official results very shortly.
Previously, after the controversial 2007 elections, the country was shaken by bloody violence. Today, Kenyans face an economic and social crisis.
Kenya is actually the most economically developed country in East Africa, but the Covid-19 outbreak has also affected it extremely negatively. Added to the global increases in food and fuel prices, poor Kenyans have been unable to afford their living costs.
At the same time, the country is experiencing the worst drought in the last 40 years. This devastated the north of the country, leaving 4.1 million people dependent on food aid and raising government debt levels.
Vote rates differed according to the source
The latest unofficial data for the election showed Odinga at 54 percent and Ruto at 45 percent.
But the latest figures released by Kenyan media groups and Reuters put Ruto at 51-52 percent and Odinga at 48 percent.
Ruto’s victory was announced in the country where the winning candidate had to get 50 percent plus one vote, but until that happened, many businesses across the country were shuttered and food stocks were made, as what would happen until that happened was uncertain.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who filled the two-term mandate, failed to agree with Ruto after the last election and this time supported Odinga as a presidential candidate.
Ruto chaired the ‘Kenya Kwanza’ (Kenya First) alliance in the election and served as MP and agriculture minister before becoming vice president.
Odinga, on the other hand, ran for the presidency under the Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) alliance, which included Kenyatta’s Jubilee party. He is also a former cabinet minister and former prime minister.
New check and balance mechanisms
After the 2007 elections, in which more than 1200 people were killed, numerous checks and balances were established for these elections in order to prevent fraudulent allegations that could lead to violence. But still, the worries of the past remain.
In 2017, more than 100 people were killed in the events that broke out after the Supreme Court annulled the result due to irregularities in the election process.