A populist campaign anchored on the hustler narrative, support from vote-rich regions that won the last two elections and significant inroads in the turf of rivals helped Deputy President William Ruto win the presidency in the first attempt.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate polled 7,176, 141 (50.49 per cent) to secure the 50 per cent plus one required to win the presidency in the first round, edging out his main rival, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition’s Raila Odinga who got 48.85 per cent of the vote.
The President-elect also secured at least 25 per cent of the votes in 39 counties – 15 more than the 24 counties required by the constitution – underlining the success of his campaign that targeted “those at the bottom of the pyramid”.
Dr Ruto succeeded to frame the contest as one between hustlers and dynasties through a campaign that transcended tribal affiliations and helped him limit the damage the narrative of Kikuyu-Kalenjin dominance at the helm would have had.
“I hereby declare that Ruto has been duly elected as the President of the Republic of Kenya,” Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati declared yesterday, as the President-elect and his spouse, Rachel, broke into broad smiles.