Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa set to win the presidency

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa set to win the presidency
Gotabaya Rajapaksa waves to his supporters during an election campaign rally in Bandaragama
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Sri Lanka’s former wartime defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa established a lead over his major rival in a presidential election months after lethal militant assaults within the island, early outcomes confirmed on Sunday.

Tens of millions of Sri Lankans voted on Saturday to elect a brand new president to steer the nation out of its deepest financial stoop in over 15 years, following Easter Sunday suicide bombings that sapped investor confidence and damage its tourism sector.

Rajapaksa, who oversaw the army defeat of Tamil separatists underneath his brother after which president Mahinda Rajapaksa 10 years in the past, has promised sturdy management to save the island of 22 million individuals, nearly all of whom are Sinhalese Buddhists.

With 1 / 4 of whole votes counted, Rajapaksa had 48.2 %, whereas his major rival authorities minister Sajith Premadasa stood at 45.three %, the election fee mentioned.

Rajapaksa held a commanding edge within the Sinhalese-dominated southern a part of the island in addition to postal ballots.

Premadasa, who campaigned on insurance policies to assist the poor, was main within the north the place minority Tamils are predominant.

The election fee has mentioned it expects outcomes to be clear by late Sunday and a brand new president will likely be sworn in inside a day.

Tamil political events are strongly against Rajapaksa who has confronted allegations of widespread human rights violations of civilians within the remaining phases of the conflict towards the separatists in 2009.

Rajapaksa and his brother deny the allegations.

Muslims, the opposite massive minority group, say they too have confronted hostility for the reason that April assaults on inns and church buildings through which greater than 250 individuals had been killed. Islamic State claimed accountability.