The premier's United National Party (UNP) won a total of 106 seats in the 225-member assembly, just falling short of an absolute majority by seven seats but enough to form a government.
Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came second, securing 95 seats while the minority Tamil National Alliance (TNA) swept the ethnic Tamil-majority Northern and Eastern provinces with 16 seats.
The 69-year-old two-time President, Rajapaksa, was quoted as saying that he conceded defeat 'after a good fight'.

Prime Minister-designate Wickremesinghe said the victory achieved by his UNP was a mandate given by the people for good governance. "I offer my grateful thanks to all parties and individuals who worked untiringly during the election period to ensure victory for the people. We have been able to create a peaceful atmosphere needed for a free and fair election," the 66-year-old leader said.

A total of 196 Parliament members are elected for a five-year term while 29 are appointed based on the national proportion of votes polled by each part.


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