Nairobi, Kenya (AP) — William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s president on Tuesday after narrowly winning the August 9 elections in East Africa’s most stable democracy, demonstrating his strong leadership. It quickly showed that it was going to be Christian.
The Supreme Court last week dismissed the challenge after losing candidate and longtime opposition figure Laila Odinga to the official result, completing a very peaceful election.
Ruto, 55, was standing in for outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, but had a bitter split with Kenyatta, with the two not speaking for months at a time. When I handed over the tool of power, the audience cheered.
When the court upheld his victory, Ruth, kneeling in tears and prayers, knelt on stage minutes after the oath during a lengthy sermon. “Chicken seller to the president,” the pastor quipped, emphasizing Ruto’s humble youth.
Root’s first tweet was a Psalm quote. Enjoy it and enjoy it. ”
The event started in chaos. Thousands of people forced their way into the packed stadium and were crushed and injured. About 60 people were injured when the fence collapsed after people pushed it, medical officials said, although the number could rise.
“Some were forced to treat minor injuries. Most of them were taken to the main hospital in Nairobi,” said Peter Muiruri. No deaths were reported.
People tried to fend off the baton-wielding security forces. some have failed. “I was beaten by the police when I tried to go inside,” said eyewitness Benson Kimtai.
Ruto is in power in a country saddled with debt that challenges his efforts to deliver on the promises of a sweeping campaign made to Kenya’s poor.
With the transition, Kenya’s presidency will move from one leader to another who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court. Kenyatta and Ruto were indicted over their roles in deadly post-election violence in 2007, but the case was later closed amid allegations of witness intimidation.
The August elections were mild in a country with a history of political violence. Chaos erupted only in the final minutes when the electoral commission was publicly divided and prominent Odinga supporters tried to physically stop the declaration of Root as the winner.
Root’s campaign portrayed him as a “hustler” with a humble background of selling chickens on the roadside in bare feet, in contrast to the political dynasties represented by Kenyatta and Odinga. depicts a wheelbarrow, the symbol of his campaign.
However, when Ruto was young, he received strong political guidance from former President Daniel Arap Moi. He oversaw a one-party state for years before Kenyans pushed for multi-party elections.
Root now speaks about democracy and vowed no retaliation for dissent.
Potential loser, 77-year-old Odinga, has established himself as a frontrunner. In a statement Monday, he said he would skip his inauguration and later “announce the next steps to deepen and strengthen democracy.”
Odinga also claimed that “the outcome of the election remains undetermined,” but a spokesman told The Associated Press that he would declare himself “the people’s president” after losing the 2017 election. He said the chances of that happening were “very low”.
Moses Ndungu contributed to this report.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.