William Ruto was declared the winner in Kenya’s presidential election, just moments after the main count was stopped by scuffles.
Mr Ruto, currently the deputy president of the country, has defeated Raila Odinga for the top job. He won 50.49% votes.
After his victory was announced, Mr Ruto stated that “we are here tonight to witness this momentous occasion when the peoples of Kenya restate the article one of Kenya’s constitution that all sovereign power belongs the peoples of Kenya.”
“I want God to be thanked for getting us here, and I want to express my gratitude that we are able to conclude this election.
“There were many predictions that we wouldn’t get there, but God is heaven and we are here. I want to express my gratitude and confess that without God, we wouldn’t be here.
It’s a victory for Mr Ruto, who has shook up politics by appealing desperately to Kenyans on economic terms rather than traditional ethnic ones.
He had, however, told voters that he was being ignored by the president because he believed the election was between “hustlers” from humble backgrounds and the “dynasties of outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta or Mr Odinga, his fathers being Kenya’s first and second presidents.
For a quarter century, Mr Odinga sought the presidency.
In his acceptance speech, Ruto thanked Odinga as well and stressed that the election was focused on issues, not ethnic divisions. He also said that “gratitude goes out to millions of Kenyans that refused to be boxed in tribal cocoons”.
As chaos broke out in the main counting hall at Nairobi, chairs were thrown and bottles smashed.
As Mr Ruto’s supporters clashed with police, diplomatts and international observers were taken away.
After Juliana Cherera (as the deputy chairperson of an election commission), and three other commissioners disowned results, it descended into chaos.
“We are unable to take ownership the results that will been announced,” Ms Cherera stated to reporters prior to Mr Ruto’s win.
Ms Cherera urged all parties to resolve any dispute through the courts, amid fears that allegations of vote-rigging could cause violence.
After Mr Odinga’s chief agents stated they couldn’t verify the results, the sudden split in the commission occurred minutes later. The allegations of electoral offences were made without providing any evidence or details.
Sky News’ correspondent YousraElbagir witnessed the disruption before Mr Ruto was declared the winner.
She said that fighting broke out when Raila Odinga, former prime minister and frontrunner of the party, flipped a table and started flipping chairs over and contesting the election results.
“Now, his rival and current deputy president William Ruto is here, and an eerie calm has entered the centre.
“People are clapping now. They have just welcomed him into their homes, but it is very strange and it’s very awkward for people to act as if what just happened never happened.”
The scuffles resulted in injuries to two commissioners and one chief executive of the commission. They are currently being treated.
After several delays in the announcement of the election result, people waited hours at the centre.
Party officials crowded the building, where they were entertained by calm-seeking musicians.