Source: China State Council Information Office
Sri Lanka’s ruling party presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa on Sunday conceded defeat to his opponent, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a presidential election which concluded on Saturday.
In a statement, Premadasa congratulated Rajapaksa for his victory at the polls, and said he would be stepping down as the deputy leader of the United National Party, which is the largest party in the ruling United National Front government.
“At the conclusion of a hard fought and spirited election campaign, it is my privilege to honor the decision of the people and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka,” Premadasa said in a statement.
“I express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our citizens who voted for me, in all corners of the island (country),” he added.
Premadasa said the polls conducted on Saturday was the most peaceful in history and appealed to Rajapaksa, as the new president of Sri Lanka, to strengthen and protect the the democratic institutions and values that enabled Rajapaksa’s success as the Sri Lanka’s 7th president.
By late Sunday morning, Rajapaksa had already won 50 percent of the total votes with his party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) predicting his win at 53 percent, according to local media.
The Sri Lanka Elections Commission said it will announce the winner on Sunday afternoon and the new president is likely to be sworn early this week.