President of Kenya

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President of the
Republic of Kenya
Coat of arms of Kenya
Presidential Standard
William Ruto

since 13 September 2022
StyleHis Excellency
ResidenceState House, Nairobi
AppointerDirect popular vote
Term lengthFive years
Inaugural holderJomo Kenyatta
12 December 1964

The President of the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kenya) is the head of state and head of government of Kenya. The president leads the executive branch of the Government of Kenya. The president is the commander-in-chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. The first president of Kenya was Jomo Kenyatta. Now the president is William Ruto.

Role[change | change source]

Under the 1964 Constitutional Amendment establishing the Republic of Kenya, the President replaced the Monarch as head of state and the Prime Minister as chief executive. The President was initially elected by the House of Representatives of Kenya, and, after the merger of the House of Representatives and Senate into a unicameral National Assembly, by the National Assembly, for a five-year term. In the event of a vacancy the Vice-President would have served as Acting President for 90 days until new elections were held.

Following the enactment of the 1969 Constitution of Kenya, the system of election by the National Assembly was replaced by direct elections under a first-past-the-post system, yet true separation of powers was still not established; The President had to also be elected as an MP and he had to appoint his Ministers from among MPs, the President was still able to dissolve the National Assembly, and the Assembly was still able to declare no confidence in the ministers. Not only that, but until the first multiparty elections in 1992, only one candidate - that of the Kenya African National Union - was nominated and automatically declared winner of the elections without voting actually being held.

With the enactment of the 2010 Constitution, Kenya's current, the first-past-the-post system was replaced in presidential elections in favor of a two-round system, the post of Vice-President was renamed Deputy President and was made to automatically succeed to the Presidency in case of a vacancy for the remainder of the term in a full, not merely acting, capacity, and the requirement of the President, DP, and ministers to also be MPs was abolished, finally establishing separation of powers between the executive and legislature.

Presidents of Kenya (1964 – present)[change | change source]

    KANU     NARC     PNU     Jubilee     UDA

  Denotes vice president acting as president
No. Portrait Name
Elected Term of office Political party Deputy President
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Jomo Kenyatta
12 December 1964 22 August 1978 † 13 years, 253 days Kenya African National Union Jaramogi Oginga Odinga
Joseph Murumbi
Daniel arap Moi
2 Daniel arap Moi
22 August 1978 8 November 1978 24 years, 130 days
1978 8 November 1978 30 December 2002 Mwai Kibaki
1988 Josephat Karanja
George Saitoti
George Saitoti
Musalia Mudavadi
3 Mwai Kibaki
2002 30 December 2002 16 September 2007 10 years, 100 days National Rainbow Coalition
Michael Kijana Wamalwa
Moody Awori
(3) 2007 16 September 2007 9 April 2013 Party of National Unity
Kalonzo Musyoka
4 Uhuru Kenyatta
(born 1961)
2013 9 April 2013 7 September 2016 9 years, 157 days The National Alliance William Ruto
2017 7 September 2016 13 September 2022 Jubilee Party
5 William Ruto
(born 1966)
2022 13 September 2022 Incumbent 1 year, 199 days United Democratic Alliance Rigathi Gachagua

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Presidents of Kenya at Wikimedia Commons