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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Srilankan Presidential Elections

Rajapaksa defeated rival candidate Premadasa by almost 14 lakh votes. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defence Secretary of Srilanka, wins the Srilankan Presidential Elections 2019

Former Defense Secretary and brother of the former president of Srilanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the Srilankan Presidential Elections 2019 by beating Opposition Candidate of the ruling party, Sajith Premadasa. The results were declared on Sunday. He will be the successor of President Maithripala Sirisena. Rajapaksa secured 52.25 percent votes (6,924,255) while Premadasa received 41.99 percent of the total votes polled (5,564,239), according to the election commission. Other candidates got 5.76 percent votes. After the declaration of results, Rajapaksa thanked the people of Srilanka and urged them to "Rejoice Peacefully" in a tweet on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Rajapaksa and said he looks forward to further deepen relations between the two nations.  Rajapaksa, in response, thanked the people of India and Modi, saying he looks forward to strengthening the friendship and meeting him in the near future.

Opposition Candidate, Sajith Premadasa accepted his defeat and congratulated the new president in a tweet. He also thanked the people of Srilanka for their support and votes.

It was under his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, that the Tamil Tigers (Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam, more popularly known as LTTE) were crushed, while he served as the defense minister and oversaw the operation that ended the civil war in the country. The bombings shattered an uneasy sense of security that had built slowly after the end of the 25-year civil war with Tamil separatists and devastated a thriving tourism industry, that saw 2.33 million arrivals in 2018. Many Sri Lankans struggling to make ends meet to support the Rajapaksas in the hopes that they can revive the economy, which boomed towards the end of their stretch in power.

Many others worry that democracy and freedom of speech will be curtailed under Mr. Rajapaksa, whose party, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, is likely to appoint his brother as the new prime minister.

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