When Sri Lanka’s former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa cast his ballot on Monday, he expressed confidence that he could return to power as Sri Lanka’s prime minister just months after he was toppled as president, but he admitted a loss early as he had in the presidential elections at the beginning of the year.
To his surprise he has conceded defeat in parliamentary elections.
Rajapaksa told AFP “My dream of becoming prime minister has faded away.” Rajapaksa accepted that his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had lost even before Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya could announce the final results.
“We have won eight districts and the UNP (ruling United National Party) has 11 (out of a total of 22),” Rajapaksa said. “This means we have lost. It was a difficult fight.” He also added “There were some who criticised me then for conceding so early in the count, but I did it because it was the right thing to do.”
Election Commissioner Deshapriya said he expected the release of the final party positions by midday Tuesday, while individual votes garnered by candidates would be announced later.