Ruto says he will respond to any legal challenge to his electoral victory

(Adds statements from Odinga and former minister Martha Karua)

Nairobi, Aug 17 The newly elected president of Kenya, William Ruto, assured today that he will “participate” in any “judicial process” that challenges his victory in the elections on August 9, one day after his main rival, the former prime minister and opposition Raila Odinga, reject the election result.

“If court cases are opened, we will participate in them because we are democrats, we believe in the rule of law,” Ruto said Wednesday at a press conference in Nairobi.

Ruto made the statement after holding a meeting with members of his political coalition, Kenya Kwanza (“Kenya First” in Swahili), who have been chosen as governors, members of the National Assembly and senators in general elections.

“Our Administration will have nothing to do with threats, blackmail and intimidation, as well as the fear of talking to some people because of their political affiliations. We have recovered our democratic country. Everyone can talk to everyone, about anything,” Ruto said. .

The president-elect advised his party colleagues to concentrate on working to “fulfill our commitments” and “take the country to the next level.”

Ruto promised to boost public sector services and seek unity in the country, fighting against politics based on the more than forty ethnic identities that exist in Kenya.

“There will be no room for the exclusion of any part of Kenya, any community, any sector of society… We will move forward together as a nation. The people of Kenya are telling us that we need unity and remove ethnicity from politics,” he said.

The president of the Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, proclaimed Ruto’s victory on Monday, in the August 9 elections with 50.49% of the vote, while former Prime Minister Odinga took 48.85%.

However, four of the seven IEBC commissioners, including its vice president, Juliana Cherera, have questioned the election results, claiming that the vote count was done in an “opaque” manner.

Odinga has also rejected those results, he said in a message to the nation on Tuesday.

“The figures announced by Chebukati must be annulled by the courts. In our opinion, there is no legally and validly declared winner or elected president,” said opposition leader and coalition chief Azimio La Umoja (“Aspiration to Unity”), in Swahili).

In a message posted today on his Twitter social network account, Odinga assured that his coalition continues to “work to ensure that the will of Kenyan voters, the majority of whom voted for Azimio and were wronged by Mr. Chebukati, is respected.” “.

“We are confident that we will overcome the ruse and regain our victory in due time,” the former prime minister added.

His running mate, former minister Martha Karua, expressed himself in similar terms today in statements to journalists in Nairobi. “Ours is a deferred victory, but it will come home and that is the message to all of us as we explore legal and constitutional avenues,” she said.

Under Kenyan law, Odinga has seven days from the announcement of the results to challenge them before the Supreme Court, the highest court in the African country.

Once that complaint is filed, Justice has a legal period of fourteen days to issue its resolution.

If the Supreme Court does not stop him, Ruto will become Kenya’s fifth president since independence in 1963, replacing Uhuru Kenyatta, who is serving the second and last five-year term allowed by the constitution. EFE



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