Morning Brief

Foreign Policy’s flagship daily newsletter with what’s coming up around the world today. Delivered weekdays.

Ruto Declared Kenya’s Next President

Although African leaders are already sending their congratulations, legal challenges to the result are expected.

By , the newsletter writer at Foreign Policy.
Kenyan President-elect William Ruto (center-left) and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua (center-right)
Kenyan President-elect William Ruto (center-left) and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua (center-right)
Kenyan President-elect William Ruto (center-left) and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua (center-right) celebrate in Nairobi on Aug. 15. TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at Kenya’s presidential results, the Iran deal’s hurdles, another blow to Russia in Crimea, and China’s new military drills.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.


Ruto Declared Winner in Kenya

Welcome to today’s Morning Brief, where we’re looking at Kenya’s presidential results, the Iran deal’s hurdles, another blow to Russia in Crimea, and China’s new military drills.

If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here.


Ruto Declared Winner in Kenya

Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto is now the country’s president-elect after he was declared the winner of last Tuesday’s presidential election amid dramatic scenes in the capital, Nairobi.

Before Wafula Chebukati, the chair of Kenya’s electoral commission, could announce Ruto’s victory, protesters attempted to dismantle the podium and stage dressings before riot police eventually calmed proceedings.

At the same time, a more official protest was happening. Juliana Cherera, Chebukati’s deputy, hosted her own press conference and said that she and three others on the commission could not accept the result due to the “opaque nature of this last phase of the general election.”

That didn’t stop Chebukati from certifying the results in person once he retook the stage. The latest official tally: 50.5 percent of the vote for Ruto, and 48.8 percent for Raila Odinga. (Two minor candidates account for the remaining votes.)

Ruto, who has promised a break from the “dynasties” that have dominated Kenyan politics since independence, projected a conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech, urging unity. “We need all hands on deck to move forward,” Ruto said. He inherits East Africa’s largest economy, but one that is greatly exposed to the dual shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Kenyans can breathe a sigh of relief that post-election violence, which marred presidential contests in 2007 and 2017, has not materialized yet.

Odinga, defeated for a fifth time in his quest for the presidency, has remained silent but could yet mount a legal challenge. His press secretary said late Monday that he would address the nation today, while his running mate, Martha Karua, chimed in, saying on Twitter that “it is not over till it’s over.”

In a sign of the uphill battle any Odinga challenge would face, leaders across Africa have already congratulated Ruto on his victory, including Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Notably, just three of Kenya’s five neighbors have welcomed Ruto’s apparent win: South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia have all sent their good wishes, but Tanzania and Uganda have stayed quiet.

The United States mentioned Monday’s events in a statement from its Nairobi embassy, but it stopped short of congratulating Ruto. Instead, it urged all sides to “peacefully resolve any remaining concerns about this election through existing dispute resolution mechanisms.”


Keep an Eye On

Iran deal troubles. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that three issues stand in the way of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal as a deadline to agree on a European Union-drafted “final” text came and went on Monday. Iran was set to deliver its written responses to EU negotiators last night. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States would respond in private to the draft text and expressed frustration that Iran was bringing up “extraneous” demands.

Crimea attack. Ukrainian forces appear to have hit another Russian military facility in Crimea. One week after explosions destroyed several Russian aircraft at a Crimean airbase, an ammunition depot on the Russian-occupied peninsula exploded, sending fireballs into the sky. Local residents were evacuated, and Kyiv appeared to take credit for the blast; an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “demilitarization in action” in a Twitter post.

China’s new drills. China’s defense ministry announced new military drills as a “resolute response and solemn deterrent against collusion and provocation between the U.S. and Taiwan,” following a two-day visit of a delegation of U.S. lawmakers to the island on Sunday. China’s foreign ministry also condemned the “handful of U.S. politicians, in collusion with the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, are trying to challenge the one-China principle, which is out of their depth and doomed to failure.”

Omicron defense. The United Kingdom has become the first country to approve a new COVID-19 booster shot designed to combat the omicron variant BA.1 and will begin rolling it out this fall. The so-called bivalent vaccine, developed by Moderna, is not expected to produce high protection from the currently prevalent BA.5 variant.


Monday’s Most Read Articles

What Does China want? by Hal Brands and Michael Beckley
The World Is Seeing How the Dollar Really Works by Adam Tooze
The United States Is Deeply Invested in the South China Sea by Greg Poling


Odds and Ends

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit has sparked a literary boom on Amazon’s Kindle self-publishing service, with dozens of new books appearing in the wake of her travels. Michael Cannings, a U.K.-based publisher, originally noticed the phenomenon and pointed out that the books—which market themselves as Taiwan-China analyses—appear to host plagiarized content by fake authors, suggesting a quick turnaround effort.

“The possibilities to use this for disinformation are strong,” Cannings told Radio Free Asia. “I just can’t be sure whether in this case is really somebody trying to do that, or if it’s just unethical people trying to make money.”

Colm Quinn is the newsletter writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @colmfquinn

Join the Conversation

Commenting on this and other recent articles is just one benefit of a Foreign Policy subscription.

Already a subscriber? .

Join the Conversation

Join the conversation on this and other recent Foreign Policy articles when you subscribe now.

Not your account?

Join the Conversation

Please follow our comment guidelines, stay on topic, and be civil, courteous, and respectful of others’ beliefs. Comments are closed automatically seven days after articles are published.

You are commenting as .

More from Foreign Policy

U.S. President Joe Biden listens to remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on May 19.
U.S. President Joe Biden listens to remarks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on May 19.

Russia’s Defeat Would Be America’s Problem

Victory in Ukraine could easily mean hubris in Washington.

Russian and Belarusian troops take part in joint military exercises.
Russian and Belarusian troops take part in joint military exercises.

Russia’s Stripped Its Western Borders to Feed the Fight in Ukraine

But Finland and the Baltic states are still leery of Moscow’s long-term designs.

Electricity pylons are shown under cloudy skies during rainfall near Romanel-sur-Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sept. 15.
Electricity pylons are shown under cloudy skies during rainfall near Romanel-sur-Lausanne, Switzerland, on Sept. 15.

Europe’s Energy Crisis Is Destroying the Multipolar World

The EU and Russia are losing their competitive edge. That leaves the United States and China to duke it out.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces new European Union energy policies at the bloc’s headquarters in Brussels, on Sept. 7.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces new European Union energy policies at the bloc’s headquarters in Brussels, on Sept. 7.

With Winter Coming, Europe Is Walking Off a Cliff

Europeans won’t escape their energy crisis as long as ideology trumps basic math.