In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kenyan President-elect William Ruto discussed the Supreme Court ruling which secured his election victory and also revealed that outgoing President Kenyatta has yet to congratulate him as the country approaches a transition of power.
Ruto spoke about the campaign, and the largely peaceful election process, “I think it speaks to the heart of the maturity of the democracy of our country. No citizen, no leader wants their country to be famous for violence. As the people of Kenya, we have raised the standard.”
He also spoke about how his election victory can inspire other, “With winning this election, the child of every Kenyan can know that they can live their dreams and actualise their dreams irrespective of whatever background they come from.”
Kenyatta has not seen fit to congratulate me
Despite working alongside President Kenyatta as his Deputy, Kenyatta supported Ruto’s opponent Raila Odinga in the presidential election.
“When I decided to support President Uhuru Kenyatta for ten years, I did not give him conditions on him to support me. He is an adult, and he can choose and make decisions.”
Ruto told Amanpour he did not hold this against Kenyatta, but shared that the outgoing president has yet to congratulate him on his victory.
“Unfortunately, President Kenyatta has not seen it fit to congratulate me, but I think that’s fine.”
However, he noted, “What happened in the past was a slip, and we have gained a balance. And I am confident going into the future the next election will be better than the one we had this year.”
Food and Security Crisis
Ruto said that he will work to unify the country following his narrow election win, as well as playing an active role in solving East Africa’s security and humanitarian issues.
“Somalia is a difficult nut to crack. But we have confidence that the newly elected President in Somalia, who has worked with us before, we are looking forward to working with him and the international community so that we can square out the challenges in Somalia.”
Ruto said he will work with the international community to address humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa.
“We are going to work with the international community, we are going to work with the leadership in Somalia, so that even as we address the security challenges, we also deal with the humanitarian, especially food situation in the Horn of Africa, in northern Kenya, and generally in our region.”
The President-elect went on to discuss food shortages and the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on grain exports.