By JEREMIAH WAKAYA, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have been gazetted as winners of the 2017 presidential election held on Tuesday.
In a gazette notice published Friday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the two were duly elected as President and Deputy President having fulfilled the threshold set under Article 138 (4) of the Constitution which requires that a candidate gets more than half the number of votes cast countrywide and at least 25 per cent of the vote in “each of more than half the counties.”
President-elect Kenyatta garnered 8,203,290 votes against the National Super Alliance’s (NASA) candidate Raila Odinga’s 6,762,224 and met the 25 per cent requirement in 35 counties compared to Odinga’s 29.
In his declaration of the presidential results on Friday, Chebukati said voter a total of 15,073,662 voters turned out to cast their ballots, out of the 19,611,423 registered voters, marking a 78.91 per cent turnout.
In 2013, President Kenyatta won the March 4 General Election with a narrow margin, only securing 6,173,433 (50.07 per cent) votes over Odinga’s 5,340,546 (40.3 per cent).
He however widened his margin in the August 8 election, getting 54.27 per cent of the vote, 10 percentage votes ahead of Odinga who only bagged 44.74 per cent of the vote.
In his acceptance speech during his declaration as the winner, Kenyatta expressed his gratitude to the electorate for re-electing him, pledging to serve all citizens, those who voted for him and those who did not.
“I want to thank the people of this great and wonderful Republic of Kenya for the confidence that they have shown in me and my administration. Ours is a pledge to continue with the work that we have started and dedicate ourselves to serving our nation even more,” the Head of State said at the Bomas of Kenya, IEBC’s National Tallying Centre.
He thanked the IEBC for conducting the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner, saying their sacrifice was commendable.
“It’s been a long wait for the last couple of days but we were determined that we would be patient and wait for results as have now been declared,” he said.
President Kenyatta also expressed gratitude to his supporters for turning up in large numbers to vote for the Jubilee Party.
He said the backing offered to him by supporters and politicians eyeing various elective seats was crucial to his victory, urging those who have lost to keep peace and contest in future elections.
He commended both international observers for ensuring elections are conducted in a transparent atmosphere, urging those who lost to accept and unite with other Kenyans to build a prosperous nation.
President-elect Kenyatta reached out to his political competitor, Raila Odinga, urging him and his supporters to join him in furthering the economic transformation of the nation.
He particularly urged Odinga’s supporters to work closely with his government in order to achieve shared prosperity for all Kenyans, promising to run an all-inclusive administration, and urging Kenyans to shun violence and divisive politics.
“I extend a hand of friendship, partnership and cooperation knowing well that this country needs all of us to succeed and Kenyans want us to succeed,” he said.