Tuesday, August 18, 2015

MR concedes election defeat

Former president Mahinda Rajapakse told AFP today that he had conceded defeat in parliamentary elections, but he will work as an opposition member of the legislature.

"My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away. I am conceding. We have lost a good fight,” Rajapakse told AFP. Rajapakse accepted that his United People's Freedom Alliance had lost even before Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya could announce the final results.

"We have won eight districts and the UNP (ruling United National Party) has 11 (out of a total of 22), it means we have lost. It was a difficult fight, ” Rajapakse said. Official figures showed the same breakdown of results. Remaining three districts were dominated by a minority Tamil party, officials said, adding that no party was set to secure an absolute majority of 113 seats in the 225-member parliament following Monday's election.

Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he expected the release of the final party positions by midday Tuesday, while individual votes garnered by candidates would be announced later. Rajapakse cast his ballot on Monday, he expressed confidence that he could return to power as Sri Lanka's prime minister just months after he was toppled as president.election commissioner Deshapriya said the vote, called a year ahead of schedule by President Maithripala Sirisena who ousted the veteran leader in January, had been one of the most peaceful in Sri Lanka's history.

His surprise victory over his former mentor, Sirisena has struggled to impose his authority over his United people's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party and was powerless to prevent Rajapakse from standing as one of its candidates.

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