Gotabaya Rajapaksa Elected Sri Lanka’s President
Sri Lanka’s Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya on Sunday afternoon confirmed that opposition candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had won the presidential elections.
Rajapaksa secured over 6 million or over 52 percent of the votes, Xinhua reported.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be the President, not only of those who voted for me, but as the President of all Sri Lankans. The trust you have invested in me is deeply moving and being your president will be the greatest honor of my life – Let’s put our vision into action!” Rajapaksa tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Rajapaksa had claimed victory over his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Rajapaksa for his victory in the elections.
“Congratulations @GotabayaR on your victory in the Presidential elections. I look forward to working closely with you for deepening the close and fraternal ties between our two countries and citizens, and for peace, prosperity as well as security in our region,” Modi had tweeted.
“I also congratulate the people of Sri Lanka for the successful conduct of the elections,” he said.
Rajapaksa, who has been credited for having crushed the Tamil Tigers 10 years ago, focused his campaign on his credentials as the defence secretary that brought a close to the bloody 26-year civil war, while also calling for an overhaul of economic policies implemented by Premadasa’s UNP during its five-year charge of the parliament.
To win, a candidate has to secure at least 50% + one vote in the first round of counting, the Elections Commission Chairman had said.
Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary and brother of two-time former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, based his campaign on providing strong leadership on national security issues, following coordinated bombings in April that killed at least 269 people.
He will be sworn in as the seventh President of Sri Lanka tomorrow morning, November 18, in Anuradhapura, his party sources confirmed to ColomboPage.