Sri Lanka’s new PM invites all parties to work in unity

Colombo, Aug 19 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister designate Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday called on all political parties to work together in taking the country forward and implementing a national plan.

Wickremesinghe’s United National Front (UNF) won 106 seats in the 225-member parliament on Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.

In his first address to the media after winning the polls, Wickremesinghe said he was ready to take oath as the new prime minister and pledged to work for the betterment of his people.

“On August 17, the people of this country exercising their franchise in the parliamentary election confirmed the January 8 revolution and the good governance we have started,” he said.

“We will carry this forward as I will take oath as prime minister. I have discussed with President Maithripala Sirisena the need to take this concept forward where we all need to build a consensus on our national policies,” he added.

Wickremesinghe, who defeated former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary polls, said he would put forward a national plan requiring all parties to work together.

“We want everyone to come together now. Think of the country and think of the people. We can achieve unity and progress in this country if we work together even for two to three years for the sake of the people,” he said.

“Together, with the president and all party leaders, we will be looking forward to having a new era of politics and government in this country,” he added

In final elections results released on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe secured the highest number of votes received by any candidate and topped his district with over 500,000 votes.

Rajapakse, also elected to parliament, obtained over 400,000 votes.

Wickremesinghe will take oath as prime minister on Thursday after which his new cabinet will be appointed.

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