| Ichal Supriadi, Asian Network for Free Elections | Nilantha Ilangamuwa, Sri Lanka Guardian

( January 15, 2015,Kuala Lumpur , Sri Lanka Guardian) Last Friday, the Presidential elections in Sri Lanka concluded with surprising results. The decade-long rule of President Mahinda Rajapaksa ended. Once immensely popular, Rajapaksa government was increasingly accused of repression, nepotism and corruption. The elections brought to power Maithripala Sirisena, a one-time ally of Rajapaksa who defected in November to form a broad coalition that took power at the presidential level. So confident was Rajapaksa of his control over the reigns of power that he called for the election two years before it was due. In this episode we look at both the conduct of the elections as well as the real challenges that Sri Lanka faces in its long road to democracy and reform.

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Mahesh Krishnan contributed to this report.