Colombo, Nov 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka's controversial wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Sunday won the hotly contested presidential election, defeating the ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes, marking the return of the powerful Rajapaksa dynasty known for its pro-China tilt, amidst security challenges following the Easter Sunday terror attacks that killed 269 people.
Rajapaksa secured 52.25 per cent votes (6,924,255) while Premadasa received 41.99 per cent (5,564,239), according to the official results.
Other candidates got 5.76 per cent votes, the election commission said.
Rajapaksa, 70, who will succeed President Maithripala Sirisena, urged his supporters to 'rejoice peacefully'.
Premadasa, 52, conceded the presidential election to his rival even before the official results were announced by the Elections Secretariat. He also stepped down as the Deputy Leader of the ruling United National Party (UNP) with immediate effect. PTI CPS AKJ CPS