Kenya’s top court upheld Deputy President Ruto’s victory in Aug. 9 presidential election, dismissing 9 petitions seeking to nullify result
In his first address to the nation since the Aug. 9 elections, outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said he was committed to upholding the law and executing a Supreme Court ruling validating the election of his deputy, William Ruto.
However, he did not issue any congratulatory message to Deputy President Ruto, who is now set to take over as the country’s new leader.
In a unanimous verdict, Kenya’s top court on Monday upheld Rutos’s electoral victory, dismissing nine petitions seeking to nullify the result.
“In keeping to the pledge that I made to uphold the rule of law when I took the oath of office, I commit to executing the orders of this court to the letter,” Kenyatta said.
He said he intends to oversee a smooth transition of power and that all the necessary orders to facilitate this process have been issued.
Kenyatta thanked Kenyans for holding a peaceful election.
“I want to wish well all who have won as they guide our country into the future and I thank you all for the opportunity to serve,” the Kenyan leader said, without any mention of the president-elect’s name.
President-elect Ruto welcomed the top court’s ruling upholding his victory.
“The court returned its verdict and I welcome it with tremendous humility. I thank the judiciary, specifically the Supreme Court for staying strong and remaining the shining beacon of constitutionalism and the rule of law even in the most daunting of circumstances,” he said.
“I extend a hand of brotherhood to all my competitors and all their supporters. We are not enemies, we are Kenyans,” Ruto said at the press conference at his residence in Karen, Nairobi.
He said that at the top of his agenda in his first 100 days in office will be to fight graft.
Ruto said that for months he has not spoken to his boss, President Kenyatta, who openly supported opposition leader Raila Odinga but added: “Shortly I will be making a call to him so that we can have a conversation on the process of transition.”
“We will respect our President Uhuru Kenyatta in his retirement. We will give him the dignity as the former head of state deserves. He will have his place in the history of Kenya.”
He also congratulated five-time presidential candidate Odinga, calling him a worthy competitor and adding that his government will work with the opposition to grow and build the nation.
Ruto, 55, will be sworn in as president next week.