Sri Lankan Prez Re-Elected, Challenger Cries Foul

Mahinda Rajapaksa takes election, Gen. Fonseka vows to contest
By Nx Doyle,  Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2010 8:37 AM CST
Promoted on Newser Jan 27, 2010 8:37 AM CST
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(User Submitted) – President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been declared the winner of Sri Lanka's first presidential election since the Tamil Tigers' 26-year insurgency was defeated, but his opponent immediately vowed to contest the outcome. The BBC reports that the incumbent won 57.8% of votes cast; rival Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who took 40%, told the press there was "obvious rigging" and that irregularities occurred during the race. He also accused Rajapaksa of intimidation after soldiers surrounded his hotel.

The BBC notes that independent election watchers have been bothered by the amount of violence, much of it attributed to the president's side, in the run-up, as well as an unbalanced use of state-run TV. A BBC correspondent adds that Fonseka's challenge may be a reaction to fears for his own safety.

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