Colombo, Sri Lanka – Former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s president on Monday and appealed to minority Tamils and Muslims who voted against him to give their support.
Rajapaksa has won the Sri Lankan presidency after a closely fought election, as his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP) conceded defeat.
Rajapaksa secured victory with 52.25 percent of the vote, according to final results announced by Sri Lanka’s election commission.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be the President, not only of those who voted for me, but as the President of all Sri Lankans. The trust you have invested in me is deeply moving and being your president will be the greatest honor of my life -Let’s put our vision into action! pic.twitter.com/0A58Sef8CE
— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) November 17, 2019
“As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey,” Rajapaksa said in a Twitter post.
“Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned.”
More than 15.9 million Sri Lankans were eligible to vote in the presidential election, with voter turnout expected to top 80 percent, Mahinda Deshapriya, chairman of the election commission, told reporters on Saturday at the conclusion of polling.