“I am conceding. We have lost a good fight”, said former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
UNP secured 106 out of 225 seats in the parliament; Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) got 95 seats while left-wing People’s Liberation Front (JVP) securing 6.
In his first major statement since his United National Party (UNP) foiled ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s comeback bid, Wickremesinghe struck a note of reconciliation. “It was a hard fight”.
The elections commissioner will distribute 29 other seats according to the proportion of votes received nationally by each party to fill the 225-member Parliament.
A man walks past a poster of Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in Galle.
The outcome represents another bitter blow for Rajapakse, who led Sri Lanka for a decade before he was dramatically ousted by his one-time ally Maithripala Sirisena in a January 8 presidential election.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said the parliamentary election in Sri Lanka went on steadily and smoothly.
A strong result for the UNP would likely see Wickremesinghe confirmed as prime minister of a centre-right government that would seek to revive stalled reforms to make the government more open and accountable.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Prime Minister-designate Ranil Wickremesinghe last evening and congratulated him on the victory.
Results released by the elections department showed that the UNF obtained 33,798 votes while the main opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) obtained 19,613 votes, Xinhua reported.
National list slots for each party are expected to be announced once the preferential votes for each candidate is discussed by the parties.
Asked whether his call for unity included Rajapaksa, Wickremesinghe said: “It includes everyone”.
Sirisena defected from Rajapaksa’s government and formed an alliance with Wickremesinghe to defeat Rajapaksa in the presidential election. He then handed Rajapaksa a shock defeat in the polls.
The upshot of the legal debate is the holding up of the conclusion of the election that has caused lot of anxiety among elected representatives on both sides of the political divide. He was eying to stage a political comeback by becoming the new Prime Minister by contesting in Monday’s polls.