2019 Sri Lankan presidential election
The 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election was the 8th presidential election, which was held on 16 November 2019. The incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena's term of office would have ended on 9 January 2020. This was the first Presidential election in Sri Lanka where no sitting president, prime minister or opposition leader was contesting for president. Gotabaya Rajapaksha won this election.
The results were released on 17 November 2019 and Gotabaya managed to cross the majority mark to win the election.
- 26 October 2018 – 16 December - 2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis, where Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Maithripala Sirisena conspired to take the office of Prime Minister leading up to the election.
- 9 January - President Maithripala Sirisena eligible to call for presidential elections anytime after this date.
- 31 January - President Sirisena is approved unanimously as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party's candidate during the Party's Anuradhapura district convention.
- 6 March - Gotabaya Rajapaksa submits application through the United States Embassy to renounce his US citizenship.
- 26 March - Gotabaya Rajapaksa travels to the United States for a personal visit, where he also expects to expedite his request to renounce his citizenship.
- 7 April - While in the United States, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is served with notice of two separate civil lawsuits against him in California, USA, over the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge as well as on behalf of a Tamil torture survivor Roy Samathanam.
- 12 April - Gotabaya Rajapaksa returns to Sri Lanka from the United States.
- 21 April - 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings
- 27 April - Gotabaya Rajapaksa announces he will run for president.
- 11 August - Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Sri Lanka Podujana Party officially announces Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be its presidential candidate.
- 12 August - Several members of the United National Party organized a rally in Badulla to promote Sajith Premadasa as the UNP candidate even though the party has yet to name an official candidate. Sajith premadasa clearly shows his intentions to run for the presidency. All UNF mp's in Badulla attend to this rally, also Harsha , Eran , Ajith, Sujeewa, Ranith, Ranjith Aluwihare, Wasantha Aluwihare, Chandrani, Buddhika, Hesha, Ashok, and several mp's attended to it.
- 18 August - Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka announced as the presidential candidate of the newly formed political alliance "National People's Power" in a rally held at Galle Face.
- 23 August - Huge rally in Matara, which is organized by Mangala Samaraweera to pledge support to Sajith as UNP candidate.
- 5 September - Huge rally in Kurunegala, which is organized by all Kurunegala UNP mp's except Akila to support to Sajith as UNP candidate.
- 5 September - Sri Lanka Freedom Party has informed the Elections Commission that they will be fielding a candidate for the upcoming presidential election
- 6 September - Prime minister and the leader of United National Party, Ranil Wickremesinghe reportedly expressed his intentions to be the presidential candidate of his party.
- 15 September - The National Elections Commission gets the power to call for a Presidential Election at any time
- 18 September -Department of government printing Sri Lanka gazetted an extraordinary gazette, no 2141/25 as the and noticed 7 October 2019 as date of nominations and, 16 November as the date of election with the consultation of the election commission Sri Lanka.
- 24 September 2019 - Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe agreed to nominate UNP Deputy Leader minister Sajith Premadasa as the Presidential Candidate of the United National Front but need to be approved by the working committee of the party.
- 26 September 2019 - United National Party schedule its working committee meets at Sirikotha to select its candidate by party law.
- 26 September 2019 - Working committee of United National Party unanimously decided Sajith Premadasa as presidential candidate.
- 29 September 2019 - Sri Lanka's ex-Army chief Mahesh Senanayake announced that he would contest for president under a non political National People's Movement (NPM), a collective of island-wide civil society organisations.
- 30 September -The Court of Appeal has decided to support the petition against recognizing former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a citizen of Sri Lanka on October 2.
- 1 October - Gotabaya Rajapaksa seek court permission to travel to Singapore from 9 to 12 October for a medical issue.
- 2 October - A three-judge bench of the Court of Appeal has commenced the petition filed against recognizing former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a Sri Lankan citizen.
- 3 October - United National Party holds its National Convention at the Sudathasada Indoor Stadium to officially name Sajith Premadasa as candidate to the public.
- 4 October - Charges against Gotabaya Rajapaksa's citizenship issue was dismissed by the court and allowed him to contest at the upcoming election.
- 5 October - The first ever Presidential debate among candidates took place. All the main candidates except Gotabaya Rajapaksa took part in the event.
- 7 October - Nomination for the next president at 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. 33 candidates are set to be nominated.
- 9 October - Sri Lanka Freedom Party pledge to support SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- 15 October - Sri Lanka Muslim Congress pledge its support to Sajith Premadasa
- 15 October - Tamil Progressive Front pledge to support to Sajith Premadasa.
- 18 October - Ceylon Workers' Congress pledge to support SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- 18 October - Jathika Hela Urumaya holds National convention to announce its support to Sajith Premadasa.
- 4 November - Tamil National Alliance pledge support to Sajith Premadasa
- 5 November - SLFP Former President and daughter of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Chandrika Kumaratunga pledge support to Sajith Premadasa.
- 16 November- Election for the next president at 7.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
- 17 November 2019 - President Maithripala Sirisena's 1st term of office ends.
- 18 November 2019 - Gotabaya Rajapaksa is inaugurated at Ruwanwelisaya.
- 21 November 2019 - President appoints his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.
Prior to the electionEdit
|Sri Lankan recent election results|
|Dates of elections||United National Party
|Sri Lanka Freedom Party
|Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna||Tamil National Alliance||Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna||Sri Lanka Muslim Congress||Independents|
|2015 Presidential election||6,217,162||51.28% [i]||5,768,090||47.58%||－||－||－||－||－||－||－||－||－||－|
|2015 Parliamentary election||5,098,916||45.66% [ii]||4,732,664||42.38%||－||－||515,963||4.62%||543,944||4.87%||44,193||0.40%||42,828||0.38%|
|2018 local elections||3,640,620||29.42%||1,497,234||12.10%||5,006,837||40.47%||337,877||2.73%||710,932||5.75%||92,897[iii]||0.75%||374,132||3.02%|
|Sri Lankan political map prior to this election|
|Presidential election, 2015||Parliamentary election, 2015|
|Elected members of each electoral district or municipalities, gaining the highest number of votes:|
Both main candidates have had their own surveys carried out with the results claiming victory for each of them. Earlier circulated polls prediction which was claimed done by National Intelligence Service was proved false and manipulated.
Sri Lanka Podujana PeramunaEdit
After the massive victory they have got in Local Election, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is looking to run for the presidential election. Chamal, Basil and Gotabaya being mentioned as credible prospects. Calls for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to run have been made though he is ineligible due to his possession of foreign citizenship. Basil Rajapaksa also holds foreign citizenship and is therefore ineligible. On 12 January he announced he was ready to run in the elections if he had the support for it. Though his announcement stunned senior SLPP leaders who did not know beforehand.
Chamal Rajapaksa has also signalled his potential candidacy saying that he would "willingly consider it if the party nominates him as the next Presidential Candidate", soon after the announcement of his brother. Chamal Rajapaksa has not decided whether to contest from the SLFP or the SLPP but prefers a candidate that has the support of both. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the leading figure of the war victory of Sri Lanka and development process of Colombo metro region and northern province.
In March Chamal denied that neither him nor Basil would contest but avoided commenting about Gotabaya while the SLPP announced that they favour Gotabaya unless someone better is found.
Gotabaya already had a well organized campaign promoting him and according to D. B. S Jeyraj the Rajapaksa family has chosen to support Gotabaya as the candidate and is renouncing his US citizenship.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, on 11th of 6 days after the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, announced his candidacy for president. On 11 August Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Sri Lanka Podujana Party officially announces his brother Gotabaya to be its presidential candidate, while Mahinda runs as his Prime Ministerial candidate.
United National Party (UNP)Edit
United National Party did not field a presidential candidate in either the 2010 and 2015 elections and supported a common candidate. Even though they won the 2015 election and elected Maithripala Sirisena from their support, UNP expenditure for the election period is 500lkr million relations between the president and the UNP was shaky from the beginning. Power struggle between the president and UNP prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe led to the 2018 Sri Lankan constitutional crisis. In the aftermath of the events, most of the UNP members publicly expressed their regret supporting a common candidate in 2015 and promised to field their own presidential candidate in 2019 elections.
Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was the obvious choice for the candidacy and he reportedly expressed his intentions to run for the presidency in a meeting with other senior members. Meanwhile, several rebel MPs including Mangala Samaraweera, Harin Fernando, Ajith Perera, Harsha de Silva, Sujeewa Senasinghe wanted deputy leader Sajith Premadasa as the candidate and organized a rally in badulla where Sajith himself openly expressed his intentions to be the UNP candidate
With the growing support for the deputy leader Sajith Premadasa and party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe refusing to make a move, Speaker of the parliament Karu Jayasuriya released a statement signalling his intention to run for presidency to end the confusion and avoid a rift within the party However Sajith faction showed that they has the popular support among party members and followers by organizing successful rallies in Matara Kurunegala and Matugama.
On 26 September 2019, Working committee of United National Party unanimously decided Sajith Premadasa as the UNP presidential candidate. Announcing the official statement, general Secretary of the UNP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told that Ranil Wickremesinghe will continue to function as the Prime Minister and the Leader of the UNP.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)Edit
President and leader of the SLFP Maithripala Sirisena is eligible to run for a second term. Although he has previously stated, after being sworn in in 2015, that he would only serve the single term, he has since expressed his desire to stay on for a second term. However, with many party seniors choose to support newly formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna led by former SLFP leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, SLFP got weakened and suffered a heavy loss in 2018 Sri Lankan local elections, thus losing the credibility it had as the main opposition force to the UNP.
Individuals who have publicly expressed interestEdit
Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president, or have strong support from others, within the last six months.
- Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, 2005–2015
- Chamal Rajapaksa, former Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, 2010–2015
Janatha Vimukthi PeramunaEdit
Record 35 candidates have submitted their nominations on 7 October to the election commission
New Democratic Front
|United National Party||Son of Former President of Sri Lanka, Ranasinghe Premadasa
Deputy leader of United National Party (2014–present)
Deputy Minister of Health (2001-2004)
|2||Gotabaya Rajapaksa||Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna||Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna||Brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa
Secretary for the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development (2005-2015)
|3||Anura Kumara Dissanayaka||National People's Power||Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
National Front for Good Governance (NFGG)
United Left Front
|Leader of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (2014–Present)
Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation (2004-2005)
Chief Opposition Whip (2015-2018)
|4||Mahesh Senanayake||National People's Party||National Peoples Movement||Former Commander of Sri Lanka Army (2017-2019)
Chief of Staff, Sri Lanka Army
Jaffna Security Forces
Special Forces Brigade
211 Infantry Brigade
Regimental Center Commandant, Special Forces Regiment
3rd Special Forces Regiment
1st Special Forces Regiment
|5||Ajantha Perera||Socialist Party of Sri Lanka||Socialist Party of Sri Lanka||Founder, National Programme on Recycling of Solid Waste |
|6||Rohan Pallewatte||National Development Front||Abhiman Lanka||Executive Chairman of Lanka Harness Co. (Pvt) Ltd|
|7||Duminda Nagamuwa||Frontline Socialist Party||Frontline Socialist Party||Propaganda Secretary of the Frontline Socialist Party.
Contested in 2015 Presidential election receiving 9,941 votes.
|10||Aparekke Punnananda Thero||Independent|
|11||Saman Perera||Our Power of People Party|
|12||Ariyawansa Dissanayake||Democratic United National Front|
|13||Sirithunga Jayasuriya||United Socialist Party|
|15||Bedde Gamage Nandimithra||Nava Sama Samaja Party|
|16||Vajirapani Wijesiriwardene||Socialist Equality Party|
|17||Sarath Manamendra||Nawa Sihala Urumaya|
|18||A. S. P. Liyanage||Sri Lanka Labour Party|
|24||Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero||Jana Setha Peramuna|
|25||Illiyas Idroos Mohamed||Independent|
|28||Aruna De soyza||Democratic National Movement|
|29||Ajantha de zoysa||Ruhunu Janatha Peramuna|
|30||Namal Rajapaksa||Nationalities Unity Organization|
|31||M. K. Shivajilingam||Independent|
|32||M. L. A. M. Hizbullah||Independent|
|33||Priyantha Edirisinghe||Okkoma Wasiyo Okkoma Rajawaru Sanwidhanaya|
|34||Hassan Mohamed Alavi||Independent|
|35||Subramanium Gunaratnam||Our National Front|
|Gotabaya Rajapaksa||Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna||6,924,255||52.25%|
|Sajith Premadasa||New Democratic Front||5,564,239||41.99%|
|Anura Kumara Dissanayaka||National Movement for People's Power||418,553||3.16%|
|Mahesh Senanayake||National People's Party||49,655||0.37%|
|M. L. A. M. Hizbullah||Independent||38,814||0.29%|
|Ariyawansa Dissanayake||Democratic United National Front||34,537||0.26%|
|Ajantha Perera||Socialist Party of Sri Lanka||27,572||0.21%|
|Rohan Pallewatte||National Development Front||25,173||0.19%|
|M. K. Shivajilingam||Independent||12,256||0.09%|
|Battaramulle Seelarathana||Jana Setha Peramuna||11,879||0.09%|
|Ajantha de Zoysa||Ruhunu Janatha Peramuna||11,705||0.09%|
|Namal Rajapaksa||National Unity Alliance||9,497||0.07%|
|Duminda Nagamuwa||Frontline Socialist Party||8,219||0.06%|
|Subramanium Gunaratnam||Our National Front||7,333||0.06%|
|A. S. P. Liyanage||Sri Lanka Labour Party||6,447||0.05%|
|Aruna de Zoysa||Democratic National Movement||4,218||0.03%|
|Illiyas Idroos Mohamed||Independent||3,987||0.03%|
|Siritunga Jayasuriya||United Socialist Party||3,944||0.03%|
|Sarath Manamendra||New Sinhala Heritage||3,380||0.03%|
|Pani Wijesiriwardene||Socialist Equality Party||3,014||0.02%|
|A. H. M. Alavi||Independent||2,903||0.02%|
|Saman Perera||Our Power of People Party||2,368||0.02%|
|Priyantha Edirisinghe||Okkoma Wesiyo Okkoma Rajawaru Sanwidhanaya||2,139||0.02%|
|Bedde Gamage Nandimithra||Nava Sama Samaja Party||1,841||0.01%|
|Districts won by Rajapaksa|
|Districts won by Premadasa|
Minister Mangala Samaraweera informed President Maithripala Sirisena via a letter, that he will step down as Minister of Finance with immediate effect. The letter addressed to the President by Minister Samaraweera stated his opinion that the 2019 election was the most peaceful and fair election held in the recent past.
In a tweet, Minister Harin Fernando said, respecting the people's mandate, he will step down as Minister of Sports, Telecommunications and Foreign Employment. He added, he will also be resigning from his positions at the United National Party. He also thanked everyone who supported him during his tenure and hoped that the good work done will be continued.
Non-Cabinet Minister Ajith P. Perera via twitter said, while respecting the mandate of the people of Sri Lanka, he has decided to resign from his position as the Minister of Digital Infrastructure and IT with immediate effect. Tagging Sajith Premadasa he added, this was a well-fought battle and the country needs Sajith Premadasa's leadership at this critical time.
State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene via Twitter congratulated Gotabaya Rajapakse for his victory in the election and said he will step down as State Minister of Defence. He added ”I hope we will be able to build a nation free of division that unites all communities to take this country forward”.
Minister Kabir Hashim decided after the results were announced to resign as the Chairman of the United National Party and as the Minister of Highways, Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development.
Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka, resigned from his ministerial portfolio. In a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he stated that he took this decision with respect to the people's mandate.
- Supranational bodies
- European Union – A statement was issued noting that Sri Lanka's election process was peaceful and confirmed the stability of the democratic institutions, while saying the EU looks forward to working with the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to continue improving human rights, reconciliation and good governance. While congratulating President Rajapaksa, the EU assured that it will remain fully supportive of the broader reform agenda in Sri Lanka.
- China – Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang expressed congratulations on the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
- India – Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after Premadasa had conceded defeat, congratulating Rajapaksa.
- Japan - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced that Prime Minister ABE Shinzo sent a congratulatory message that he intends to further develop the Japan-Sri Lanka relationship to H.E. Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the new President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, upon his victory in the presidential election held on November 16 and his inauguration as the new president.
- Iran – Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi congratulated the Sri Lankan nation and president-elect on holding presidential elections successfully.
- Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was the first world leader to congratulate Rajapaksa on his "resounding election victory".
- Pakistan – Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement stating: "The Government and leadership of Pakistan warmly felicitate the newly-elected President".
- Singapore - Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong issued a statement stating: "I am confident that you will be able to steward Sri Lanka through these challenges ably, and that Sri Lanka will make progress in achieving lasting peace and prosperity under your Presidency"
- Russia - President Vladimir Putin issued a statement stating: "The Russian-Sri Lankan relations are of traditionally friendly nature, I wish you every success, good health and prosperity."
- United States – The U.S. Embassy in Colombo in a statement said that "We commend the Elections Commission, civil society and government authorities for promoting a peaceful election. We are ready to continue our work with the new President and with all the people of Sri Lanka in supporting the country's sovereignty through heightened good governance, expanded economic growth, the advancement of human rights and reconciliation, and in fostering an Indo-Pacific region where all countries can prosper."
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- "Iran congratulates Sri Lanka on successful presidential elections". ColomboPage. 18 November 2019.
- "Pakistan welcomes Gotabaya's victory". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 17 November 2019.
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- FT, Daily (23 November 2019). "Russian President congratulates Sri Lankan counterpart". Daily FT. Daily FT. Wijeya Newspapers. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
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