Kenya: Ruto Happy With Raila for Not Staging Protests After Defeat

Nairobi — President-Elect William Ruto has hailed his main rival Raila Odinga for not calling for street protests when he lost last week’s presidential election.

Ruto said the move by Odinga to commit to lodge a presidential petition in the Supreme Court to invalidate his win has ensured the country moves on peacefully.

“I want to thank our competitors because they have contributed to the peace we have. For the first time, they haven’t planned demonstrations and other many things,” Ruto said when he attended a church service in Kiambu that voted for him overwhelmingly leading to his victory against Odinga.

“We want to thank them so that we can begin to build the democracy in the right direction,” he said during the first thanksgiving service in Githunguri, Kiambu County.

In 2017 after the nullification of the presidential elections, Odinga has called for daily protests after his refusal to take part in the 26 October repeat poll as he pulled pressure on election resignation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)

Hundreds of Odinga’s supporters have marched in the streets in most city centers clashing with police who used teargas to disperse crowds.

The president elect hailed the electorate as heroes for maintaining peace following the aftermath of the highly contested poll that he managed to win with only 231,000 votes.

Ruto clinched 7,176,141 votes which was 50.1 percent, against his close rival Raila Odinga who received 6,942,930 votes which is 48.85 per cent of the vote.

“The heroes in this election are Kenyans who went and voted peacefully. They have showed that they don’t want a Kenya that is confrontational and that we can vote and continue with our business and daily activities,” he said

Ruto has termed his victory and the aftermath of the presidential election as a true testament that Kenya has buried ethnic politics which dominated for decades.

He pointed out that the support he got from the Mt Kenya region among others in the country shows that Kenya has matured beyond ethnic cocoons.

He stated that the Kiambu County which is regarded as the outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta’s political bastion defied all odds by supporting him as opposed to Raila Odinga-who was Kenyatta’s preferred successor.

“I appreciate that people of Mt Kenya have taken me as one of their sons. They have stood by me through thick and thin and buried ethnicity in the politics of Kenya. I am assuring you that I will not let you down,” Ruto said.

Ruto said that out of the 7,176,141 he garnered, the majority of the votes came from Kiambu County.

Despite the upheavals he has faced ever since his fallout with President Kenyatta in March 2018 when he shook hands with Odinga, he said he was grateful for being voted in.

“Some wonder why we started with Kiambu. It is because this is where we got majority of the votes as compared to other regions in the country,” he said when he attended a church service on Sunday, “This is our Jerusalem and people of Kiambu have made history that they have voted for me tremendously as compared to my home county in Uasin Gishu County.”

Mt Kenya counties which include Laikipia, Tharaka-Nithi, Murang’a, Kiambu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Embu, Meru and Nakuru collectively gave Ruto nearly three million votes.

Odinga only secured 847,709 votes from Mt Kenya, which was an improvement as compared to previous elections.

“The people of Mt Kenya have changed the politics in our nation and you have occasioned a paradigm shift in the politics of our republic. And I promise I won’t let you down,” Ruto stated.

But even as he spoke, Odinga was preparing to file a petition on Monday to challenge the victory handed to the Deputy President.


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