President William Ruto took a dig at his opponents in the last elections during his inaugural speech at the official opened the 13th parliament, the president called out former President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting the opposition against him. “The sitting Deputy President became the candidate of the opposition and the leader of the opposition became the candidate of government. As things would be, the opposition candidate won the election, and the president became the leader of the opposition party. That’s the beauty of our democracy” he said.
To underpin the democratic gains in the country’s political space the President noted that the just concluded general elections transcended ethnic balkanization, personality politics and patronage as power was transferred back to the people. “With the support of Kenyans, we have dislodged ethnicity as the central organizing principle of our politics, thereby retiring, for good the ethnic mobilization and personality cults, together with their culture and practices of exclusion, discrimination, patronage, tribalism and nepotism,”
“It is true this election was intensely contested, nevertheless, it was peaceful and democratic, again it confirms the coming of age of our democracy.”-President William Ruto
“In the process, we also affirmed the sovereignty of the people of Kenya as the ultimate decision-makers as envisaged in the constitution,” he said. Taking cognizance of the highly contested August 9th elections, President Ruto said it was time to bury the hatchet and forge ahead as a unified nation.
“It is true this election was intensely contested, nevertheless, it was peaceful and democratic, again it confirms the coming of age of our democracy.” Setting off the calendar of the 13th parliament the president said the current parliament houses the greatest number of leaders re-elected ever, with 193 MPs voted back into the National Assembly 50 more than in 2017 and 17 Senators re-elected to the Senate. Meanwhile, 29 women have also been elected to the National Assembly, 6 more than in 2017.
As a result, President Ruto challenged parliamentarians not to let down their constituents. “The confidence demonstrated by Kenyans in us and our institutions should inspire us to raise the bar in our service to the nation and accountability to the electorate.”
A section of leaders was however critical of the president, claiming that he was still in campaign mode. “He is still talking about issues of hustlers, he is still talking about the issues of bottom-up in the judiciary, he is still talking about who was the opposition candidate, who was the government candidate. Those are now things that are dead and buried” said Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.