LEADER of Azimio la Umoja opposition party Raila Odinga has rejected the result of last week’s Kenya presidential election that delivered victory to his rival Deputy President William Ruto.
Addressing a press conference in the capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday, Odinga described the election outcome as “a travesty and a blatant disregard of the constitution of Kenya,” insisting that there was “neither a legally elected winner nor a president-elect”.
“We totally without reservation reject the presidential election results. I do not want to fully address our strategies going forward but we will be pursuing all constitutional and legal options available to us,” the veteran opposition leader continued, while urging his supporters to maintain the peace.
Meanwhile, Kenyans took to the streets on Monday night to celebrate the announcement of Ruto as winner of the keenly contested presidential election held on August 9.
Ruto was declared the President-elect after he garnered 7,176,141 (50.49 per cent) valid votes, while his close opponent Odinga got a total of 6,942,930 (48.85 per cent) valid votes.
To be declared winner of the presidential election, a candidate must receive over 50 per cent of the vote nationally and 25 per cent of the vote in at least 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties and Ruto achieved 25 per cent in 39 counties.
Activities in Nanyuki town came to a standstill Monday evening as residents celebrated Ruto’s win after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced him as the President-elect in the just concluded general elections.
There were initial fears of violence and political tension which had characterised previous elections, but the excited crowds chanted pro-Ruto slogans, while celebrating riders and motorists hooted in solidarity, leading to a massive traffic jam along the busy Nanyuki-Nyeri highway.
Similarly, in Uasin Gishu County, people drawn from across all the Sub-Counties in the County and the neighbouring counties, defying the rain, converged at the heart of Eldoret town to participate in the countrywide celebration.
They marched from street to street, singing and chanting both traditional and Swahili gospel songs to express happiness over the victory, and patriotic songs to encourage Kenyans to shun any act that could plunge the country into violence.