Uhuru Kenyatta has officially been declared President-elect in the just concluded Kenya general elections by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati. The announcement comes after three days of long waiting, tallying results and a period characterized by tension.
The IEBC boss, Chebukati made the declaration a few minutes after 10pm on Friday evening at the Bomas of Kenya, the national tally centre.
Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee party garnered 8,203,290 votes representing 54.27% of the total votes leading his strongest contender, Raila Odinga of National Super Alliance (NASA) who got 6,762,224 votes with 44.74%.
Kenyatta got 25% win of votes in 35 counties (more than half of the total 47 counties), as the constitution requires to avoid a second round of voting.
“I therefore wish to declare Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect and Hon. William Ruto as the Deputy President-elect,” Chebukati announced as people inside the tally centre at Bomas broke out in chats of praises clapping and thanking God.
Outside the Bomas, crowds could be seen jubilating and waving Kenyan flags in celebration of Kenyatta’s victory.
President-elect Kenyatta who now wins his second term in office was present at Bomas at the time of the announcement along with his wife Margaret Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto.
In his acceptance speech shortly after receiving a certificate from the electoral commission chairman, Kenyatta thanked the people of Kenya for having confidence in him as well as the IEBC for doing a commendable job throughout the electoral process.
“I would love to thank God for the favor he has shown us and secondly, the people of Kenya for the confidence they have shown in me, my administration,” Kenyatta said.
“To them, ours is just a pledge that we shall continue with the work we already started and rededicate ourselves even more towards serving this nation. I pledge that I will leave this country better than I found it,” he added.
Kenyatta rallied the opposition especially those who lost the election to join hands with the new government and work towards building the country.
“To our brothers who were worthy competitors, we are not enemies. We are all citizens of one republic. I extend a hand of friendship, partnership and cooperation knowing fully well, that this country needs all of us pulling together in order for us to succeed,” he said.
To Odinga and those elected on opposition tickets, Kenyatta stated; “We shall work together and we are ready to dialogue together so that we can build this nation of ours together.”
He reiterated an appeal he made throughout the campaigns calling on Kenyans to stay peaceful, saying unlike elections and politicians that come and go, Kenya is here to stay