Rajapaksa vows to remain in politics

Colombo, Aug 19 (IANS) A day after his party lost the parliamentary elections, former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse said on Wednesday that he won’t retire from politics.

He said he will be in parliament as a MP and serve the nation.

Rajapakse, elected from Kurunegala province, led his United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to a defeat in Monday’s parliamentary polls. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Front (UNF) won the election.

In January, Rajapakse was ousted from presidency by his former health minister Maithripala Srisena. He was eyeing to bounce back by becoming the nation’s new prime minister by contesting Monday’s polls.

“I accept with humility the result of the parliamentary election and I thank the voters who placed their confidence in our party despite the unprecedented obstacles we had to face,” Rajapakse said on Wednesday.

“I will continue to engage in politics in keeping with the people’s demand and I will function within parliament to safeguard the nation and the democratic system,” he added.

Rajapakse received more than 400,000 votes from Kurunegala district but his UPFA failed to gain a majority in the 225-seat parliament.

The UPFA obtained 95 seats as opposed to the 106 seats won by the UNF.

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