Almost 48 hours after Dr. William Ruto was declared winner of the 2022 presidential election and consequently president-elect, the world’s most powerful man president Joe Biden continued to hold off his congratulations while America’s biggest news network CNN had some unflattering words for Kenya’s next president.
Appearing to focus mainly on his past, CNN shortened Ruto’s entire professional record to “a former teacher”, and revived his International Criminal Court charges of crimes against humanity, noting that he was previously a suspect in the court. Part of the article read,
There was a divided response to the presidential election results in Kenya on Monday evening. In Eldoret, live pictures from Ruto’s hometown showed large crowds celebrating and cheering his win.
But in Kisumu, Odinga’s stronghold, protests erupted. Live images showed scores protesting the election results, tires on fire and smoke billowing in the air.
Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua also took to Twitter following the results announcement and said: “It is not over till it is over.”
Analysts had predicted a win for Odinga, given his performance in opinion polls and the support he enjoyed from outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.
But Ruto’s populist “man-of-the-people” approach, which rejected political dynasties and played on anti-elite sentiment in the country, endeared him to voters.
He was able to transcend Kenya’s traditionally dynastic politics to beat Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first vice president.
During the campaign, Ruto described himself as the “hustler-in-chief,” citing his humble beginnings as a chicken seller who fought his way up to the top of Kenyan politics.
Political analyst Herman Manyora told CNN ahead of the election that “Ruto has excited the youths … almost in a euphoric sense.”
Ruto, a former teacher who holds a doctorate in plant ecology from the University of Nairobi, has pledged to prioritize Kenya’s economy and “uplift ordinary citizens” as President.
He will come under pressure to provide solutions to Kenya’s pressing economic problems, including growing debt, high food and fuel prices, and mass youth unemployment.
Ruto has a long and varied history in Kenyan politics and was also tried alongside President Kenyatta in 2013 at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands for alleged crimes against humanity following deadly violence in the 2007 elections. However, the charges were later thrown out.
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