World

COLOMBO (Web Desk) – Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election was too close to call Tuesday and final results were not out yet but the sitting prime minister has declared victory over the country’s former strongman leader who was seeking a political come-back eight months after losing a presidential vote.


Article continues after the advertisement

According to an American news agency, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a statement that the majority of the people had endorsed what he called his government’s good governance and consensual politics.

a5

“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 results released so far from Monday’s vote, ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance has won 61 of the 225 seats, while Wickremesinghe’s United National Party has taken 59. Any party or coalition must win at least 113 seats to form a government.

Read more: Sri Lanka General Elections: Rajapaksa hopes for return

Observers said that results from the seats still to be announced are expected to favor Wickremesinghe.

Rajapaksa was Sri Lanka’s leader for nine years until his Jan. 8 presidential election defeat to a former ally, Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is contesting in the upcoming general election, prays during the launch ceremony of his manifesto, in Colombo July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Sirisena, who became UPFA leader after Rajapaksa’s defeat, has vowed that he would not appoint him as prime minister.