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Why President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to congratulate President-elect William Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to publicly congratulate President-elect William Ruto, four days after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) announced the winner of the August 9, 2022 polls.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati announced the President-elect had won the elections by garnering 7,176,141 votes, representing 50.59 percent of valid votes cast.

In an exclusive interview on NTV, City Lawyer, Steve Ogola said that president Uhuru Kenyatta is silent partly because as the Chairman of Azimio, his candidate, Raila Odinga is contesting the outcome of the Presidential election at the Supreme Court.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is silent partly because, as the Chairman of Azimio, his candidate is contesting the results and reasonably can be understood to mean he has also rejected the results. By being silent, He’s could be explaining himself in that context.” he said.

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Ogopa also reiterated that President Uhuru’s silence could also mean that he doesn’t want to keep his candidate, Raila Odinga in a a politically embarrassing situation if he comes out to congratulate William Ruto.

He said if Uhuru openly congratulate Ruto, it would mean he has endorsed the outcome of the Presidential election which Raila is questioning it.

President Kenyatta is not mandated by the constitution to congratulate his successor.

However, a congratulatory gesture from the Head of State to his successor points to a seal of approval and support from a diplomatic point of view.

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In 2013 for example, then Kenya President Mwai Kibaki (now deceased) congratulated Uhuru Kenyatta as the President-elect and wished him all the best and God’s blessings in his new responsibility.

Despite President Kenyatta’s perceived snub, Ruto has received congratulatory messages from far and wide, with African superpowers Nigeria and South Africa through presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa leading the line with goodwill messages.

Yesterday, Russia joined other state in congratulating William Ruto on his victory in the just concluded polls.

Through the its embassy, Russia said it was looking forward to continuing and further developing comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation with Kenya.

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“The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Kenya has the honour to congratulate H.E Dr. William Samoei Ruto upon the announcement of him being elected as President of Kenya,” reads the statement .

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