2022 Kenyan Presidential Elections Results. Only four presidential aspirants and their running mates from parties were cleared. Walter Mong’are’s nomination to run for presidency was revoked, after it emerged his degree was not from a recognized university as required by law. The final list of presidential candidates was;
- David Waihiga Mwaure, leader of the Agano Party
- Raila Odinga, former Prime Minister of Kenya (2008–2013) and leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, under Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance. He was a presidential candidate in 1997, as well as the runner-up in 2007,[c] 2013, and 2017.
- William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya (2013–2022) and leader of the United Democratic Alliance, under Kenya Kwanza Alliance party
- George Wajackoyah, leader of the Roots Party Kenya
Leading up to the 2022 election, a new political dynamic based on class politics was emerging in Kenya, framed as “hustlers” versus “dynasties”. The families of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga had dominated Kenyan politics since independence in 1963. Moreover, Kenya has traditionally been ruled by presidents who belong to either the Kikuyu people – like Kenyatta – or the Kalenjin people, like William Ruto. The potential victory of Odinga, a Luo, would mark a departure for the country, which has 44 ethnic groups.
Ruto initially supported Odinga in the 2007 election against Mwai Kibaki. The announcement of the presidential results led to ethnic clashes among Kenya’s tribes. Police crackdowns on protesters and clashes that turned into ethnic attacks killed more than 1,000 people in post-election violence, eventually prompting a new constitution to devolve power. Ruto aligned himself with Kenyatta in 2013. Both Kenyatta and Ruto had been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on crimes against humanity charges for their alleged role in orchestrating the post-election violence in the 2007 election. The cases later collapsed, with former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda saying a relentless campaign of victim and witness intimidation made the trial impossible.
In March 2018, President Kenyatta and his former rival for the presidency, Odinga, stunned the public when they shook hands and declared a truce after post-election violence in 2017 left dozens of people dead. The two leaders also sought to expand the executive through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional changes, which would have potentially allowed Kenyatta to stay in power as a prime minister. But despite the Supreme Court of Kenya ruling against the proposed amendments in August, the unexpected alliance has persevered, with Odinga attending official government functions with Kenyatta. Cracks within the Jubilee government began to appear, leading to an eventual fallout between Kenyatta and his deputy, Ruto.
In December 2021, the Mount Kenya Foundation, one of the country’s most powerful and wealthy Kikuyu lobbies, announced their support for Odinga, while Kenyatta has repeatedly said that the next president will be “neither Kikuyu nor Kalenjin”. On 10 December 2021, Odinga declared his intention to run for the presidency for the fifth time.
In January 2022, Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) announced a coalition pact with the Amani National Congress, FORD–Kenya and several other political parties. The new coalition was called Kenya Kwanza.
In February 2022, Kenyatta’s Jubilee party announced that it would join the Azimio la Umoja coalition headed by Odinga, the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). On 12 March 2022, at least 26 political parties, including major political parties Jubilee, Wiper, ODM and KANU, signed a co-operation pact endorsing Raila Odinga’s presidential candidature. That same day, Kenyatta publicly endorsed Odinga for the presidency.
Deputy presidential nomination
Several individuals showed interest in the position of deputy president. Azimio la Umoja held interviews for 10 prospective running mates, namely: Kalonzo Musyoka, Martha Karua, Peter Munya, Sabina Chege, Peter Kenneth, Stephen Kipkiyeny Tarus, Ali Hassan Joho, Wycliffe Oparanya, Lee Kinyanjui and Charity Ngilu. Musyoka, Odinga’s two-time running mate, threatened to skip the interviews, but ultimately appeared for an interview on 10 May 2022. In the Kenya Kwanza camp, several names were rumoured to be possible running mates, namely: Rigathi Gachagua, Kindiki Kithure, Anne Waiguru, Ndindi Nyoro, Justin Muturi and Musalia Mudavadi.
In April 2022, Roots Party candidate George Wajackoyah named Justina Wamae, a former candidate for Parliament from Mavoko Constituency, as his running mate. On 15 May 2022, Kenya Kwanza endorsed Rigathi Gachagua as Ruto’s running mate. Azimio la Umoja selected Martha Karua as Odinga’s running mate on 16 May 2022. The Agano Party‘s Waihiga Mwaure selected Ruth Mucheru Mutua as his running mate.
Azimio la Umoja was the first political outfit to launch their manifesto on 6 June 2022. The ten point manifesto voiced key issues such as a corruption-free government. The manifesto came in the form of a declaration and promised to strengthen devolution; economically empower women; waste no single child; spur the economic pillar; facilitate climate-smart agriculture; revamp the manufacturing sector; enact responsible leadership; preserve sovereignty of the people; increase access to clean water; create “Baba Care”, which would focus on social protection and transformation; and upscale health coverage to universal health care.
Ruto’s UDA and Wajackoyah’s Roots Party launched their manifestos on 30 June 2022. Ruto, who intended to apply a “bottom-up economic model”, presented a manifesto promising to revive the economy, provide healthcare for all, promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), and implement a two-thirds gender rule and affordable housing, among other policies.
Wajackoyah intended to legalise marijuana for commercial purposes, introduce snake farming, export dog meat, shut and bring down the standard-gauge railway, hang the corrupt, suspend the constitution, introduce four-day work week, move capital city to Isiolo, create eight states, and repatriate idle foreigners.
On 4 July 2022, Agano Party presidential candidate David Mwaure Waihiga launched his 12-point manifesto. He argued that it was time for the country to move forward and start on a new slate in terms of leadership. He planned to pledge alliance to the constitution; to family, women, youth, persons living with disability, county governments, workers, business owners, the economy, religious institutions and the environment; as well as to the international community. He also promised to recover public monies stashed in offshore accounts as well as dissolve the Nairobi City County government.
Electoral candidates debates
On 2 March 2022, the Media Council of Kenya, in conjunction with the Media Owners Association and Kenya Editors’ Guild, announced plans to conduct presidential debates in July 2022. Clifford Machoka was appointed to organise the presidential and deputy presidential debates. The debates were scheduled to run on 11, 19, and 26 July 2022 at Catholic University of Eastern Africa; and they were to be broadcast live across most television and radio stations, and their online platforms. A Nairobi City County gubernatorial debate was also scheduled amongst the presidential and deputy presidential debates due to it being Kenya’s capital. Each of the debates ran in two sessions; the first session involved candidates who stood below 5% in the last three opinion polls, while the second session was between candidates reaching above 5% in the same polls.
On 11 July 2022, the first tier of the Nairobi gubernatorial debate took place and four of the seven candidates expected took the stage, namely: Nancy Mwadime of the Usawa kwa Wote Party, Herman Grewal of Safina, Kenneth Nyamwamu of the United Progressive Alliance and independent candidate Esther Thairu. The second tier of the debate, which aired on primetime, put former Nairobi deputy governor Polycarp Igathe against incumbent senator Sakaja Johnson, though the latter arrived 20 minutes late into the debate. The deputy presidential debate that involved four candidates also aired in two sessions: Wamae faced off against Mucheru. Karua and Gachagua duelled in the second tier. An estimated 34 million Kenyans tuned in for the deputy presidential debate; an estimated 18.7 million of those who followed the debate were registered voters. 70% watched the second tier while 5% viewed the first. The hallmark of the three debates, the presidential debate, was the final one, and it was to have Mwaure go against Wajackoyah first, while Odinga and Ruto face off in the second tier. However, Odinga and Wajackoyah dropped out of the presidential debate. Odinga argued that he could not debate with Ruto, whom he accused of having questionable integrity. Wajackoyah’s demand to debate with the two main presidential candidates was not met; though he made his way to the debating venue before storming off. Mwaure and Ruto were featured alone in their respective sessions. In addition to joint presidential debates, individual television stations aired gubernatorial debates from other counties, and a constituency debate.
The campaign season officially kicked off on 29 May 2022 as clearance of electoral candidates continued. Although the presidential election was considered a two-horse race between Odinga and Ruto, Wajackoyah gained significant popularity within the electorate due to his radical measures to quell the ballooning public debt. Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza proclaimed themselves ‘hustlers’, calling Odinga a dynasty and a ‘project’ of the outgoing government. Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja branded Kenya Kwanza as an alliance of the corrupt since most of the leaders in the coalition are suspected, accused, or convicted of corruption and other integrity issues. Odinga billed himself and his running mate Karua as liberators who fought for the multiparty system, campaigned for the new regime in 2002 and were proponents of the 2010 constitutional dispensation. On 28 July 2022, Ruto’s running mate Gachagua was ordered by the anti-corruption court to forfeit Ksh 202 million to the state after it was determined the funds were proceeds of corruption.
On 6 August 2022, all candidates across all elective seats held their final campaigns in different parts of the country. Odinga held his last rally at Moi International Sports Centre; Ruto at Nyayo in Nairobi and Kirigiti Stadia in Kiambu County; Wajackoyah and Mwaure in different parts of Nairobi.
2022 Kenyan Presidential Elections Results
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced the results of the August 9, 2022 presidential elections on the evening of August 15.
14,326,641 votes were cast in the presidential election, out of the 22,120,458 registered voters; 64.77% voter turnout. Bomet county registered the highest voter turnout, 79.88%, and the lowest was Mombasa at 43.76%.
William Samoei Ruto (United Democratic Alliance (UDA)) of the Kenya Kwanza coalition, and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua (UDA) was declared the winner with 7,176,141 votes (50.49%). They received more than 25% of the votes cast in 39 counties.
Raila Odinga (Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party (AZIMIO)), and his running mate Martha Wangari Karua (AZIMIO) were second with 6,942,930 votes (48.85%). They received more than 25% of the votes cast in 34 counties.
George Luchiri Wajackoyah (Roots Kenya Party (RPK)), and his running mate Justina Wangui Wamae (RPK) were third with 61,969 (0.44%). They did not receive more than 25% of the votes in any county.
Waiga David Mwaure Waiga (Agano Party), and his running mate Ruth Wambui Mucheru (Agano Party) were fourth with 31,987 votes (0.23%). They did not receive more than 25% of the votes in any county.
There were 113,614 rejected ballots.
This high level summary in no way captures all that occurred in the presidential election;
- Most polls in the weeks leading to the election stated that a Raila win was the most likely outcome.
- About 27 hours after the end of the voting, IEBC had uploaded 45,888 form 34As, 99.28% of the 46,229 polling stations streams. An unprecedented situation that caught all off guard, the majority of the final results were in the public domain but no one could tally them, not even the media houses.
- Even though the elections were largely peaceful there were ugly incidents of intimidation and harassment of IEBC officers especially in the days leading to the final announcement at Bomas. There was the ugly fracas at Bomas on Monday 15 August with the seeming intent to prevent the announcement of the final results and then 4 renegade IEBC commissioners held a parallel press conference to dissociate themselves from the final results. There was also the tragic death of an IEBC returning officer in Nairobi who was abducted.
Raila, Martha and the Azimio coalition did not accept the results, and submitted a petition to the Supreme Court citing numerous objections. The Supreme Court after receiving the petitions, listening to the arguments and counter-arguments returned a unanimous ruling on 5 September, dismissing the consolidated petition and as a consequence declaring that the election of Ruto as President-elect was valid under Article 140(3) of the Constitution of Kenya.
Results and reactions
The results had been scheduled to be announced at 3 pm on 15 August 2022, however, by 5 pm no announcement had been made. Four IEBC commissioners, led by vice chair Juliana Cherera, held a press conference stating that they do not “take ownership” of the results, citing issues with the final tallying process. The results were announced at 6 pm by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. All candidates except Raila Odinga appeared at the announcement; Odinga’s chief agent Saitabao Ole Kanchory announced that Odinga would not appear until his campaign team could verify the results. As Chebukati and other two commissioners made their way into the Bomas of Kenya auditorium, violence erupted in the venue and the IEBC staff were escorted away. After security personnel resolved the situation, Chebukati made his way to the auditorium and announced the results, naming William Ruto as the president-elect.
The following day, 16 August, the dissident IEBC commissioners, Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya, gave a more detailed explanation of the division within the commission. The four stated that the total percentage exceeded 100%, the results were not processed and analysed by all the commissioners, and that Chebukati did not provide the total numbers of registered voters, votes cast, or rejected ballots. They accused Chebukati of announcing results prematurely, before votes from some counties had been incorporated, and accused Chebukati of exceeding his legal role. This was disputed by the Elections Observations Group, a Kenyan NGO, who stated “The commission’s verification process was credible and every critical player was involved with that process – from observers, political party agents, media, body officials … The commission made data publicly available”. Chebukati also defended his announcement by stating that the 100.01% result was attributable to a rounding error, and accused the four dissenting commissioners of trying to force a re-run of the election.
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Odinga rejected the outcome of the presidential election and announced he would begin a legal challenge. He termed the election a “travesty”, “unconstitutional”, and “null and void”. Odinga also asked for his supporters to refrain from violence. On 22 August, Odinga filed a court challenge to the result. Odinga claimed the election results were based on criminal and fraudulent activities, his party agents were barred access to several election sites, technology was used for fraud, and the fraud was preplanned. Several others filed complaints too, claiming for instance that the results were not included in the tallying and verification of the IEBC chairman from 28 constituencies with at least 8% of the votes. On 5 September, Kenya’s Supreme Court rejected the petitions and upheld Ruto’s victory. Observers had described the elections as largely peaceful and transparent. Odinga said he would respect the court verdict, although he still claimed victory.