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Sri Lanka Election Results: Maithripala Sirisena topples Rajapaksa
Friday January 9, 2015 11:07 AM, Agencies

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has conceded defeat to former health minister Maithripala Sirisena in the country's presidential elections, which were held on Thursday. Over 15 million people cast their votes in the elections that were held two years ahead of schedule.


President Rajapaksa said during a meeting with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that he accepted the people's verdict, and left his official residence, the president's press secretary Vijayananda Herath said.

Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, who was leading the poll so far, was headed for a victory, Xinhua reported.

Sirisena, previously expected to win the majority of votes from Sri Lanka's ethnic minorities, effectively ended Rajapaksa's expectations to return to office, as the country's Department of Elections said that of 3.26 million votes counted so far, Sirisena had taken 51.3 percent and Rajapaksa was trailing on 46.9 percent. Other candidates accounted for the rest of the votes cast, according to Reuters.

Earlier Thursday, Tamils in the north defied a call to boycott the election, with a majority backing Sirisena, a former health minister.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka's minority Tamil party, had urged voters to support Sirisena, but some TNA provincial council members called for a boycott.

The final results from the north and other areas of the country will be released Friday.

More than 11 million people voted across Sri Lanka Thursday in the presidential election.

Incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa who has been in power since 2005 was fighting for an unprecedented third term.


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