President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to have shot down an olive branch extended by his successor William Ruto after he refused to congratulate the president-elect
Uhuru shoots down Ruto's olive branch
Uhuru Kenyatta refuses to congratulate William Ruto, but promises smooth handover
President Kenyatta promised a smooth handover of power even as he fails to agree with the judgement of the Supreme Court upholding William Ruto’s victory.
Uhuru released a recorded statement from State House saying that despite not agreeing with the judgement, Kenya’s democracy had come of age.
He, however, conspicuously failed to mention his successor's name or congratulate him directly, only choosing to acknowledge all the leaders who had won in their respective elections.
"I want to wish well all who have won as they guide our country into the future. I thank you all for the opportunity to serve," Uhuru said.
While acknowledging the Supreme Court judgement, President Kenyatta chose to steer clear of Ruto’s victory, only referring to Ruto’s election as the “results announced by the IEBC”.
“Today the Supreme Court made a ruling on the presidential dispute upholding the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on the 15th of August, 2022.
“I commit to executing the orders of this court to the letter. The process of handing over is in progress through the Assumption of his committee which has already begun its work as of August 10, 2022, and indeed I intend to oversee a smooth transition to the next Administration and all the necessary orders to facilitate this process have already been issued,” he said.
In his criticism of the Supreme Court decision, the president questioned independent institutions’ lack of consistency.
The outgoing head of state seemed to be comparing the Supreme Court's nullification of his win in 2017 with William Ruto's win that was upheld in 2022.
“Has there been a consistent pattern that is acceptable to our democratic ethos we must ask ourselves, is it about numbers, or is it about the process? Which of these two is it?” President Kenyatta questioned.
Ruto reaches out to Uhuru
President-elect William Ruto had announced that he would be placing a call to President Kenyatta after months of not having spoken to each other.
Ruto said in a press briefing at the Deputy President’s official residence that following the Supreme Court judgement upholding his election, he would now be reaching out to Kenyatta.
He said that the two would embark on the handover process, ahead of the swearing-in ceremony on September 13.
“I will shortly be putting a call to my good friend President Uhuru Kenyatta. I haven’t talked to him in months but shortly I will be putting a call to him so that we can have a conversation on the process of transition.
“I know he worked hard, in his own way but the people of Kenya have made a decision and we have no issue with the democratic choices of any Kenyan. You remember I said earlier that when I chose to support Uhuru Kenyatta I did not give him conditions. I take no offense at all that he decided to support someone else,” he said, promising to remain friends with the outgoing president.
The president-elect also stated that his administration would support Kenyatta in his retirement.
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