Gotabaya wins in presidential poll

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, center, leaves a polling station after casting his vote in Embuldeniya, on the outskirts of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, opposition candidate in Sri Lanka’s presidential contest, on Sunday emerged winner securing 52.25 % of the mandate, and marking the return of the Rajapaksa family to power.

Mr. Rajapaksa beat the incumbent government’s candidate Sajith Premadasa — who got nearly 42 % of the vote share. Mr. Rajapaksa will be sworn in as Sri Lanka’s 7th executive president on Monday in the historic city of Anuradhapura, his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP or People’s Party) said.

The Tamil and Muslim minorities in the north-eastern districts, averse to a Rajapaksa return, voted decisively for Mr. Premadasa. However, this did not make up for the ground he lost to Mr. Rajapaksa in much of the Sinhala-majority areas.

“I am the President of not only those who voted for me but also those who voted against me and irrespective of which race or religion they belong to,” Mr. Rajapaksa said, following his victory. “I am deeply committed to serve all the people of Sri Lanka.”

Meanwhile Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said he would discuss the possibility of a parliamentary election with the Speaker and party leaders soon.


Mr. Premadasa, 52, conceded the presidential election to his rival even before the official results were announced by the Elections Secretariat. He also stepped down as the Deputy Leader of the ruling United National Party (UNP) with immediate effect.

On Sunday, three Cabinet members, including Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, resigned.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 8:00:33 AM |

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