Ruling party candidate Premadasa concedes Sri Lanka presidential poll to Rajapaksa

People celebrate after the voting ended during the presidential election day in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 16, 2019 Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Nov 17, 2019, 11.04 AM (IST)

Sri Lanka's ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa Sunday conceded the presidential poll on Sunday and congratulated his main rival, former wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

"It is my privilege to honour the decision of the people and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka," Premadasa said.

Premadasa's statement came as a spokesman for Rajapaksa claimed that the 70-year-old retired lieutenant colonel had won Saturday's vote before the final results were formally announced.

Earlier Rajapaksa's spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella said that they got between 53 to 54 per cent of the vote. 

The retired lieutenant colonel secured massive support in majority Sinhalese constituencies and had 52.87 per cent of the vote, according to early official results of Saturday's poll.

(With inputs from, AFP) 

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"It is my privilege to honour the decision of the people and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka," Premadasa said.