Sri Lanka’s ruling party wins general election

Supporters carry a portrait of PM Wickremasinghe as they celebrate their party''s election performance

Supporters carry a portrait of PM Wickremasinghe as they celebrate their party”s election performance

Sri Lanka’s ruling United National Party (UNP) has won the country’s parliamentary election, final results show, putting it in a position to form a stable government after eight months of minority rule.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s centre-right party won 106 seats, seven short of a clear majority, election officials said yesterday. Still, he should be able to control parliament with the support of allies of President Maithripala Sirisena.

That was ahead of the 95 seats won by the opposition alliance led by ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose attempt to stage a comeback came up short.

“I offer my grateful thanks to all parties and individuals who worked untiringly during the election period to ensure victory for the people,” Wickremesinghe, 66, said in a statement.

“Let us together build a civilised society, build a consensual government and create a new country.”

The outcome is a triumph for President Maithripala Sirisena, who beat his former ally Rajapaksa in a presidential vote in January and called early parliamentary polls to secure a stronger mandate for reforms. Rajapaksa was Sri Lanka’s president for nine years until his January 8 election defeat.


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