“I offer my grateful thanks to all parties and individuals who worked untiringly during the election period to ensure victory for the people“, Wickremesinghe said in a statement.
The opposition United People’ s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), whose main candidate was former president Mahinda Rajapakse, got 93 seats in Monday’s polls.
The ruling United National Party was likely to fall just short of an outright majority but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should still command enough support to form a stable government.
Final official results are yet to be officially announced, but correspondents say Mr Wickremesinghe’s UNP party looks set to win at least 106 seats in the 225-member parliament.
It is the first time in 14 years the UNP wrested Gampaha, indicating a major mood swing in the country where Rajapaksa reigned supreme for over a decade until his dramatic loss in the January presidential election this year.
The veteran reformist was handpicked by President Maithripala Sirisena to lead a minority government after the longtime president Rajapaksa was defeated in January elections.
The prime minister is now expected to form the next government, although his party will need to rely on allies to pass bills including democratic reforms promised at the presidential poll in January.
Supporters of Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, poster behind, celebrate as the voting concludes during parliamentary elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, August 17, 2015.
Rajapaksa was aiming to become prime minister, a position that could eventually elevate him back to the presidency.
He was hailed by many in among the country’s majority Sinhalese ethnic population as a warrior king for defeating Tamil Tiger separatists to end a almost 26-year civil war.
The perception that nepotism and corruption flourished during his administration also damaged his political reputation.
Wickremesinghe said he would soon meet Sirisena to discuss the next government’s makeup and policy agenda that will be presented to parliament when it convenes on September 1.
Rajapakse secured a seat in the parliament by standing from the north-western district of Kurunegala after ditching his home constituency of Hambantota where three of his close family members contested.