Kenyans have elected Deputy President William Ruto as the substantive President who will take over from incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kenyatta has been in office since 9 April 2013.
Chairperson of the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati said, amid dramatic scenes, that Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance had 50.4 percent of the votes to beat his main rival and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement.
The election was conducted six days ago and the country and the international community had with bated breath for the outcome.
The voters also elected members of the National Assembly and Senate, as well as county governors and members of the 47 county assemblies.
In Kenya, general elections are held every five years. This was the third general election and the fourth presidential one since the promulgation of the 2010 constitution.
The incumbent president, Kenyatta was not eligible for a third term, nor were two-term county governors as stated by the country’s laws.
The just concluded general election saw the lowest number of presidential candidates cleared since the multi-party system was implemented in 1992.
Monday’s result announcement was delayed amid scuffles and allegations of vote-rigging by Odinga’s campaign.
Four of the seven members of the electoral commission refused to endorse the announcement, saying the results were “opaque”.
“We cannot take ownership of the result that is going to be announced because of the opaque nature of this last phase of the general election”, said Juliana Cherera, IEBC Vice Chairperson.
“We are going to give a comprehensive statement… and again we urge Kenyans to keep calm. There is an open door that people can go to court and the rule of law will prevail”, she further said.
This was the first time Ruto, 55, had run for president.
He served as Deputy President for 10 years, but fell out with Kenyatta, who backed Odinga to succeed him.