COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan former President Mahinda Rajapakse has hoped to return as the prime minister as his country held the general elections on Monday to elect 225 members for its 15th Parliament.
In the election, around 15 million men and women over the age of 18 years were eligible to vote while strict security measures had been taken to ensure security and peaceful polling.
The 69-year-old Mahinda Rajapakse contested the election from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). His main rival was the outgoing Prime Minister and the United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe backed by the President Maithripala Sirisena.
“We will win and that is certain,” the former president Mahinda Rajapakse said shortly after he cast his vote in his home constituency of Hambantota.
“My message is to remain calm and peacefully enjoy our victory,” he said.
The results of the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections are expected on Tuesday. However, no single political party is expected to win a majority.
In February, the Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the immediate dissolution of the parliament, paving the way for snap polls in the country 10 months ahead of schedule.
The move to dissolve the parliament came after Rajapakse’s loyalists repeatedly blocked the reforms pushed by the new government.
Mahinda Rajapakse lost the presidency after his former health minister Maithripala Sirisena defeated him in the country’s seventh presidential election held on January 8, 2015.