President Uhuru Kenyatta has won reelection in Kenya’s rerun vote, the country’s election commission announced Monday, after his opponent boycotted last week’s poll, claiming it was not credible.
Kenyatta’s victory was not a surprise — he won with more than 98 percent of the vote. But the tumultuous election season that has dragged on for months has left this country — East Africa’s most robust economy and a key U.S. ally — in a political crisis.
Kenyatta’s win will almost certainly be contested in court. If it is affirmed, he will confront a stark political divide, largely along tribal lines. Aside from the country’s major geopolitical challenges — notably an Islamist insurgency in neighboring Somalia that frequently stages attacks on Kenyan soil — Kenyatta will have to find a way to govern many citizens who do not see him as a legitimate president.
“Now we can begin the process of reimagining our nationhood,” Kenyatta said in his acceptance speech.
But he suggested that he would not pursue reconciliation talks with opposition leader Raila Odinga until any legal challenges to his victory were resolved.