Sri Lanka’s new PM invites all parties to work in unity

COLOMBO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister designate Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday called on all political parties in the island nation to work together in taking the country forward and implementing a national plan.

Wickremesinghe’s UNF won 106 seats in the 225-member parliament on Monday.

In his first address to the media after winning the polls, Wickremesinghe said he was ready to take oaths as the nation’s new prime minister and pledged to work for the betterment of his people.

“On August 17, the people of this country exercising their franchise in the parliamentary election confirmed the January 8 revolution and the good governance we have started,” he said while addressing journalists from his official residence in capital Colombo.

“We will carry this forward as I will take oaths as prime minister and I have discussed with President Maithripala Sirisena the need to take this concept forward where we all need to build a consensus on our national policies,” he added.

Wickremesinghe, who defeated former President Mahinda Rajapakse and his opposition the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the parliamentary polls, said that he would now put forward a national plan which would require all parties to work together.

“We want everyone to come together now. Think of the country and think of the people. We can achieve unity and progress in this country if we work together even for two to three years for the sake of the people,” he said, adding “Together with the president and all party leaders we will be looking forward to having a new era of politics and government in this country.”

In final elections results released on Tuesday, Wickremesinghe secured the highest number of votes received by any candidate and topped his district with over 500,000 votes. He beat former leader Rajapakse who obtained over 400,000 votes.

Wickremesinghe will take oaths as prime minister on Thursday after which his new cabinet will be appointed.

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