William Ruto to be sworn in as Kenya’s president

William Ruto to be sworn in as Kenya’s president

Kenya’s President-elect William Ruto speaks after the Supreme Court upheld his win in Nairobi, Kenya September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

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NAIROBI, Sept 13 (Reuters) – William Ruto is due to be sworn in as Kenya’s fifth president on Tuesday, a week after the Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit from a veteran opposition leader challenging his victory.

Ruto – a gifted orator with a strong work ethic – will have to blunt the impact of the global surge in food and fuel prices for poor Kenyans, try to solve high unemployment and tackle the rising public debt that his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta has used to finance development over the past 10 years.

Ruto has served as Kenyatta’s deputy since 2013, but they fell out after the last election. Kenyatta had supported Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, and decried Ruto as unfit to hold office.

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“Mr President-elect, as you walk the path to your inauguration and beyond, you will be president not just for those who voted for you but for all Kenyans,” Kenyatta said in an address on Monday night, wishing Ruto well.

Odinga had filed a court challenge accusing Ruto of cheating his way to victory but the Supreme Court swept aside his petition alongside several others. It was the fifth time that Odinga, 77, had stood for election. read more

“Democracy is expected to unite people, strengthen their society and improve its institutions and must not become an acrimonious, fearful and desperate enterprise,” Ruto tweeted after the ruling.

“Those who voted for me as well as those who voted for my competitors want the same thing for themselves and for their children. “

Ruto, a 55-year-old former roadside chicken seller who is now a wealthy businessman, portrayed himself as an underdog battling the elite during the campaigns, pointing out that Odinga and Kenyatta were the sons of the nation’s first vice president and president respectively.

That message resonated with chronically underemployed youths and families squeezed by poverty and rampant corruption, which Kenyatta publicly acknowledged that he was unable to rein in.

Ruto will be sworn in at the Kasarani Sports Centre in the capital Nairobi in a ceremony attended by regional leaders. On Monday, television footage showed a military band practicing alongside their fellow soldiers to perfect their drills.

Kenya is a key Western ally in an unstable region, and East Africa’s most wealthy and influential nation. It is home to many international companies and organisations.

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Writing by George Obulutsa;
Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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