1. Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka's President-elect, was a low-profile Cabinet colleague of longtime President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

2. Sirisena switched sides to become joint opposition candidate and emerged as the proverbial dark horse in the Presidential polls.

3. The 63-year-old farmer-turned-politician, hailing from the rural north central province, Sirisena does not speak English. He is ever seen in the national dress.

4. Born on September 3, 1951, Sirisena joined mainstream politics in 1989 through the Sri Lankan Freedom Party

5. The son of a World War II veteran, Sirisena was in jail for almost two years after being arrested on suspicion of leading a revolt against the government in 1971.

6. Sirisena contested the 1989 Parliamentary elections as an SLFP candidate in Polonnaruwa District and was elected to Parliament.

7. He was re-elected in the 1994 Parliamentary elections as a People's Alliance (PA) candidate.

8. He was re-elected to Parliament in the 2000 Parliamentary elections and retained his ministerial portfolio. He re-scripted his victory in 2001 Parliamentary election.

9. Besides serving as Health Minister, he also served as the Acting Defence Minister on several occasions.

10. During the height of the civil war, Sirisena said he was a soft target for the Tamil Tiger rebels with the separatists trying to assassinate him on at least five occasions.

11. In 2008, Sirisena escaped unhurt when a part of his convoy was attacked by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's suicide bomber at Piriwena Junction in Colombo.

12. In the run up to the elections, he pledged to abolish the executive Presidency within 100 days of being elected

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