William Ruto has won the race to be the fifth president of Kenya, according to results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Ruto received 7,176,141 (50.49 percent) of the votes, narrowly beating his rival, Raila Odinga, who managed 6,942,930 votes (48.85 percent).
Elections were held on August 9 with 22.1 million registered Kenyans eligible to elect the country’s successor to the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta.
Who is William Ruto?
William Ruto has been Kenya’s deputy president since 2013. Ruto founded the Y92 youth front, which propelled his political career during President Daniel arap Moy’s era.
The International Criminal Court charged Ruto with crimes against humanity after the 2007 elections, but dismissed the case in 2016.
In 2013, he was found guilty of appropriating a 40-hectare plot in Eldoret, in western Kenya.
Ruto’s campaign focused on a bottom-up economic model to empower people.
Who is Raila Odinga?
Raila Odinga was Kenya’s prime minister from 2008 to 2013. Odinga had the backing of the outgoing President Kenyatta, his former foe.
Odinga, flagbearer of the Azimio la Umoja coalition, first made his name as an activist and left-wing campaigner in the 1980s, as Kenya choked under the rule of Daniel arap Moi. After the transition to one-party politics in 1982, he was imprisoned for six years.
He first ran for the presidency in 1997, losing to arap Moi; then in 2007, losing to arap Moi’s successor, Mwai Kibaki. More than 1,000 people were killed in the violence that followed the disputed polls.
In 2015, Odinga was implicated in a bribery and tax evasion scam involving the tobacco industry while he was Prime Minister.
Odinga, the first son of the country’s first vice president, also contested and lost against Kenyatta, son of the country’s first president, in 2013 and 2017.
His campaign focused on national reconciliation and social welfare.