Maithripala Sirisena is the new president of Sri Lanka
by Melani Manel Perera
The elections' outsider defeated the closing head of State Rajapaksa with a majority of 51.28%. His promise: to reduce president's powers and come back to a parliamentary democracy.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Maithripala Sirisena is the new president of Sri Lanka. He had won 51.28% of the vote, while the outgoing president Mahinda Rajapaksa had stopped at 47.58%. After announcing the official results, Sirisena supporters went on the streets to celebrate with firecrackers.

The New Democratic Front (NDF) of Maithripala Sirisena had won a majority in 12 electoral districts on 22. The new president promised to abolish the "executive presidency" within 100 days from the beginning of his assignment. He also said he want the country comes back to a parliamentary democracy, in which police, judiciary and civil servants are independent.

Till the end Mahinda Rajapaksa wished to be elected for a third mandate, after he changed the Constitution.

Two months ago Maithripala Sirisena left the executive of Rajapaksa, for which he was minister of the Health and general secretary of coalition United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA). With the support of small and big opposition parties, Sirisena joined the New Democratic Front (NDC) and began his race to the victory.