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Sri Lanka president moves out of official residence after conceding defeat in polls


COLOMBO – After conceding defeat in a closely-contested presidential election, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has moved out of his official residence, an official said on Friday.
“The president has left his official residence Temple Trees in respect to the people’s decision,” a presidential spokesman said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Rajapaksa, 69, had met with opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and assured him of a smooth transfer of power.
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“He is doing this to show he is willing to have a peaceful transition of power and respect the decision of the people,” Presidential Press Secretary, Wijayananda Herath said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
The president had a brief meeting with the opposition United National Party (UNP) leader on Friday, although more than half of the votes were still being counted.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
During the meeting, Rajapaksa told Wickremesinghe that he would leave Temple Trees, vesting the new president with powers to carry out his official duties.
The results released by the Department of Elections so far indicated a slim lead by opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena with about 51 per cent of the total votes.
Over 15 million Sri Lankans voted on Thursday in a presidential race between Rajapaksa and his former Health Minister Sirisena. (Xinhua/NAN)

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