Tuesday, 19 November 2019 14:30

Iran stresses broadening ties with Sri Lanka

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The Iranian foreign ministry in a statement on Monday congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa for winning the presidential election in Sri Lanka and hoped for the further expansion of relations between the two countries.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran felicitates the Sri Lankan nation and government for holding the presidential election in Sri Lanka on Saturday in full tranquillity and partnership of all walks of people which resulted in election of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the president of the country with the majority of votes," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Monday.

He expressed the hope that bilateral relations would deepen and develop in line with the two nations' interests in the new era.

Rajapaksa, 70, defeated Sajith Premadasa, 52, the Election Commission announced on Sunday.

He will succeed President Maithripala Sirisena for a five-year term.

He is also expected to address the nation after taking the oath, the Daily News reported.

His elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the country's president from 2005 to 2015, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and a large number of dignitaries, including parliamentarians, will participate in the oath-taking ceremony, the report said.

Rajapaksa secured 52.25 per cent votes (6,924,255), while Premadasa bagged 41.99 per cent (5,564,239) of the total votes polled. Other candidates got 5.76 per cent votes.

The overall voter turnout at the election was around 83.73 per cent, Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said. (Fars News)


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