2019 Sri Lankan presidential election

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2019 Sri Lankan presidential election

← 2015 Before 9 December 2019
  No image.svg
Party Sri Lanka Freedom Party United National Party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna
Alliance UPFA United National Front (Sri Lanka)

Incumbent President

Maithripala Sirisena
Sri Lanka Freedom Party

The 2019 Sri Lankan presidential election will be the 8th presidential election, scheduled to be held after 9 January and before 9 December 2019.[1] The incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena's term of office will end on 9 January 2020, however he is eligible to run for a second term.[1] No major party has announced their candidates officially yet.


  • 9 January - President Maithripala Sirisena eligible to call for presidential elections anytime after this date.[1]
  • 31 January - President Sirisena is approved unanimously as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party's candidate during the Party's Anuradhapura district convention.[2][3]
  • 6 March - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa submits application through the United States Embassy to renounce his US citizenship.[4]
  • 26 March - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa travels to the United States for a personal visit, where he also expects to expedite his request to renounce his citizenship.[4][5]
  • 7 April - While in the United States, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is served with notice of two separate civil lawsuits against him in California, USA, over the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge as well as on behalf of a Tamil torture survivor Roy Samathanam.[6][7]
  • 12 April - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa returns to Sri Lanka from the United States.[8]
  • 21 April - 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings. Possible candidates Ranil Wickramasinghe and Maithripala Sirisena has come under heavy criticism for failure to act on available intelligence days ahead of the bombings.[9]
  • 27 April - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa announces he will run for president.[10]
  • 9 December - According to constitutional requirement the last day by which the presidential poll will have to be held.[1]

Prior to the election[edit]

Sri Lankan recent election results
Dates of elections United National Party
Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Tamil National Alliance Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Independents
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
2015 Presidential election 6,217,162 51.28% [i] 5,768,090 47.58%
2015 Parliamentary election 5,098,916 45.66% [ii] 4,732,664 42.38% 515,963 4.62% 543,944 4.87% 44,193 0.40% 42,828 0.38%
2018 local elections 3,640,620 29.42% 1,497,234 12.10% 5,006,837 40.47% 337,877 2.73% 710,932 5.75% 92,897[iii] 0.75% 374,132 3.02%
Sri Lankan political map prior to this election
Presidential election, 2015 Parliamentary election, 2015
Wahlbezirkskarte Praesidentschaft Sri Lanka 2015.svg Sri Lankan parliamentary election, 2015 - polling divisions.svg
Elected members of each electoral district or municipalities, gaining the highest number of votes:
  New Democratic Front led by the United National Party


Sri Lanka Freedom Party (UPFA)[edit]

Maithripala Sirisena is eligible to run for a second term. Although he has previously stated, after being sworn in in 2015, that he would only serve the single term, he has since expressed his desire to stay on for a second term.[11][12] On 31 January President Sirisena was approved unanimously as the party's candidate during the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Anuradhapura district convention.[2] SLFP National Organizer Duminda Dissanayake has proposed Sirisena, and had been seconded by Tissa Karalliyadde.[13][14][15] Even the SLFP has nominated Sirisena, the UPFA is yet to confirm his nomination.

Potential candidate[edit]

Sri Lanka Freedom Party
Sri Lanka Freedom Party candidate
Maithripala Sirisena
Maithripala- Russia (portrait).jpg
President of Sri Lanka

United National Party (UNFGG)[edit]

The United National Party is yet to name a candidate but there is strong support for Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and speculation for that Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa will run.[16][17]

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest[edit]

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president, or have strong support from others, within the last six months.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna[edit]

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is looking to run for the first time. Its leadership has said that "only Mahinda Rajapaksa could decide on the next presidential candidate..." and therefore is most likely to be a Rajapaksa sibling with Chamal, Basil and Gotabhaya being mentioned as credible prospects.[19][20] Calls for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to run have been made though he is ineligible due to his possession of foreign citizenship.[21] Basil Rajapaksa also holds foreign citizenship and is therefore ineligible.[19] On 12 January he announced he was ready to run in the elections if he had the support for it.[22][23]

Chamal Rajapaksa has also signalled his potential candidacy saying that he would "willingly consider it if the party nominates him as the next Presidential Candidate", soon after the announcement of his brother. Chamal Rajapaksa has not decided whether to contest from the SLFP or the SLPP but prefers a candidate that has the support of both.[24][25][26]

In March Chamal denied that neither he nor Basil would contest but avoided commenting about Gotabhaya while the SLPP announced that they favor Gotabhaya unless someone better is found. [27]

Gotabhaya already had a well-organized campaign promoting him and according to D. B. S Jeyraj the Rajapaksa family has chosen to support Gotabhaya as the candidate and is renouncing his US citizenship. [28]

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, on 27 April, 6 days after the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, announced his candidacy for president.[10] but his brother Mahinda Rajapakse who is the leader of the party had not confirmed his nomination yet leaving him as a potential candidate.[29]

Potential candidate[edit]

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna candidate
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa[iv]
Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa.jpg
Permanent Secretary for the
Ministry of Defence and Urban Development

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest[edit]

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president, or have strong support from others, within the last six months.

Other candidates that are interested[edit]

  • Rohan Pallewatta - Businessman [33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ New Democratic Front candidate led by the United National Party
  2. ^ United National Front for Good Governance figures
  3. ^ The SLMC contested separately in 46 LA's and with the UNF in other LA's.
  4. ^ Currently ineligible due to possession of foreign citizenship


  1. ^ a b c d e "Possibility of a snap presidential election anytime after 9 January 2019 ::. Latest Sri Lanka News". ONLANKA News :. Latest Sri Lanka Breaking News Updates | Sri Lanka News. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Sri Lanka Freedom Party regional convention backs Sirisena for presidential poll". www.economynext.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Sri Lanka Freedom Party regional convention backs Sirisena for presidential poll". www.economynext.com.
  4. ^ a b "Gota wins presidential nomination from SLPP and its allies". The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Sri Lanka : Gotabaya Rajapaksa returns to island from US". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  6. ^ "A decade after his killing, Lasantha's daughter seeks justice in the US". www.ft.lk. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Two lawsuits against Gota in US". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Gota returns". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ a b Miglani, Sanjeev; Aneez, Shihar (26 April 2019). "Exclusive: Sri Lankan ex-defense chief Gotabaya says he will run..." Reuters. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Sri Lanka's new president appoints PM". Special Broadcasting Service. Australian Associated Press. 10 January 2015.
  12. ^ Rasooldeen, Mohammed (8 January 2019). "Sri Lanka's President set to stand for 2nd term". Arab News. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  13. ^ "SLFP Endorses Sirisena As Presidential Candidate: Duminda Presents Proposal To A'Pura Convention". Colombo Telegraph. 1 February 2019.
  14. ^ "SLFP picks Maithripala Sirisena for candidacy in next presidential election". Hiru News.
  15. ^ Wijesinghe, Nimal; Corr, Anuradhapura Additional District. "PRESIDENT NAMED SLFP CHOICE - DUMINDA". Daily News.
  16. ^ ""Sajith Premadasa will be the presidential candidate in 10 months" - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Sajith Premadasa won't be named as the Presidential candidate - Maithri Gunaratne - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 27 December 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  18. ^ Rajakaruna, Charunya. "UNP Presidential Candidate is Ranil - Jayawickrama Perera". Ada Derana. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Sirisena struggles to seal new alliance in Sri Lanka re-election bid". www.economynext.com. Economynext.
  20. ^ "Only MR can decide on presidential candidate: GL". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not contest in the 2020 Presidential Election - here is why - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 28 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  22. ^ "I Am Ready For Presidential Polls If People Are Ready: Gota Hints At Contesting". Colombo Telegraph. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Presidential election: I'm ready if people are ready - Gota". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  24. ^ a b "SLPP in disarray as Gota jumps the gun". Daily News. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  25. ^ a b "Gota's entry splits Rajapaksa-led Sri Lanka opposition". www.economynext.com. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  26. ^ a b "Headhunt for the republic's headship". Daily News. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Gotabhaya Rajapaksa suggested as presidential candidate : Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  28. ^ "Sri Lanka's Presidential Elections: Family endorses Gota as the Candidate". Sri Lanka Guardian. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  29. ^ https://srilankamirror.com/news/13498-presidential-candidate-no-decision-yet-says-mahinda-gota-overseas
  30. ^ Pabasara, Tharindi. "Sirisena or Gotabaya will contest presidential polls under broad alliance - Dilan". www.adaderana.lk. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  31. ^ "Gotabaya prepared to contest the next Presidential elections | The Sunday Leader". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  32. ^ "Gota Won't Contest Presidency: Dupes Businessmen Into Donating Millions Of Rupees". Colombo Telegraph. 2 January 2019. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  33. ^ http://www.ft.lk/columns/Rohan-Pallewatta--Man-who-has-proved-that-Sri-Lanka-can-also-do/4-654568

External links[edit]