Mithripala Sirisena, Health Minister in Rajapaksa government, won the 2015 Presidential Elections of Sri Lanka. The Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya announced the results on 9 January 2015.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from United People's Freedom Alliance got 47.6 percent and Opposition candidate Maithripala Samisen from United National Party got 51.3 percent of the votes polled in the Presidential elections held on 8 January 2015.
Rajapaksa conceding defeat moved out of Templetrees, the official residence of the Sri Lanka President after ruling for ten years.
The results of elections were unexpected and dethroning of incumbent President Rajapaksa, South Asia’s longest serving leader, has come as a surprise to the world community.
Moreover, the results came as a shock to Rajpaksa who had called for snap elections in November 2014 and amended the Constitution of Sri Lanka to stand for a third term. In September 2010, under President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka passed the eighteenth amendment to the Constitution and removed the two term limit on Presidents.
According to the Constitution of Sri Lanka normal term for President is six years although an incumbent may call an election at any time after four years in office.
Further, the result ends a decade of rule that critics said had become increasingly authoritarian and marred by nepotism and corruption. The election results are seen as the most significant for decades in the island nation and a last chance for democracy.
Election Results and relations with India vis-à-vis China
The winning of Sirisena is seen by many as advantage to India as during the Rajapaksa rule; he had opposed the infrastructure related contracts between the island nation and China.
Moreover, he has announced to scrap many of the contracts between Sri Lanka and China including a new city proposed to be built on reclaimed land off Colombo at a cost of 1.5 billion US dollars.
However, if moderation in Tamil Nadu is not observed, the new government could become a plaything in the hands of the Buddhist clergy.
Who: Maithripala Sirisena
When: 9 January 2015