President-elect William Ruto, middle, with his wife Rachel Ruto is being sworn in as fifth president of the Republic of Kenya at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept 13, 2022. (SAYYID ABDUL AZIM / AP)
NAIROBI – Kenya's newly elected President William Ruto was sworn in as the country's fifth president at a ceremony in the capital, Nairobi on Tuesday.
Ruto took the helm a week after the country's top court threw out petitions challenging his victory.
Ruto has served Uhuru Kenyatta as deputy since 2013, and will have to tackle a surge in food and fuel prices, high unemployment and rising public debt used to finance development over the past 10 years under his predecessor.
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The new president took the oath of office in a peaceful handover ceremony attended by 20 African leaders including global dignitaries after a tightly contested election.
Born in 1966, Ruto won the Aug 9 elections, beating veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga narrowly in a presidential election that was later confirmed by the country's Supreme Court.
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Kenya's new president William Ruto, right, seen behind fountain fireworks, shakes hands with outgoing leader Uhuru Kenyatta, left, as he is sworn into office at a ceremony held at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept 13, 2022. (BRIAN INGANGA / AP)
Uhuru Kenyatta, the outgoing president, handed over instruments of power to Ruto amid tight security in and around the venue.
Earlier in the day, several people were injured in a crush at the gate of the stadium in Kenya's capital where Ruto was set to be sworn in as president, medical officials said.
Video broadcast on Kenyan television showed people being tended to by medics after being injured in the crush outside Nairobi's 60,000-seat Kasarani Sports Centre.
Supporters gather in the stands and wave national flags as they await the inauguration of Kenya's new president William Ruto at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept 13, 2022. (SAYYID ABDUL AZIM / AP)
Mama Lucy hospital received several patients injured in the crush, said Joseph Mbithi from the emergency unit, adding that they were all in stable condition.
The stadium was packed by 5 am with Ruto's supporters. The National Police Service said in a tweet that the stadium was full and asked that no one else try to come.