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Ruto Presses Forward with Presidency

FILE: Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto speaks after being declared the winner of Kenya's presidential election, at the IEBC National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya, in Nairobi. 8.15.2022

UPDATED: Kenya's announced president-elect William Ruto said public expectations were huge and there was no time to waste, after meeting on Wednesday with elected officials from his alliance.

"I really want us to know that the expectations of the people of Kenya are huge. We don't have the luxury of wasting time," Ruto, who is currently deputy president, said after the meeting held at his official residence.

Ruto spoke to journalists on Wednesday after meeting with members of his political alliance.

Ruto was declared president-elect on Monday by Kenya's election commission chairman after a closely fought race to lead East Africa's richest country, but four of the seven election commissioners have disavowed the IEBC leader's declaration of Ruto's victory.

Ruto said he was forging ahead with creating an administration. He said no part of the country would be excluded, regardless of political or ethnic affiliations.

"There will be no room for exclusion of any part of the Republic of Kenya," Ruto declared, adding "We are going to govern in a manner that makes sure that no part of Kenya is left behind."

Rival candidate and veteran opposition leader Odinga has stated he will contest the decision in court, calling it a "travesty"

Odinga, an opposition figure in his fifth attempt at the presidency, has said his campaign will pursue "all constitutional and legal options" to challenge the election results.

He met with his team behind closed doors Wednesday.

They have seven days from Monday's declaration to file at the Supreme Court, which then has 14 days to rule on it.

It is not clear on what grounds Odinga would challenge the results.

Ruto's response to that potential legal challenge was "There will be court processes, we will engage in those and makes sure that we... because we are democrats and we believe in the rule of law."

The announced winner added "Blackmail, intimidation, threats have come to a stop. I want to promise the people of Kenya that our administration will have nothing to do with the blackmail we have seen, the threats we have seen, the fear that has been sold around the country, that you can not talk to this or that person because they don't share your political views."

This report contains information sourced from Reuters and the Associated Press.