New Delhi (CNN)What was meant to be a simple uneventful local election has sparked uncertainty over the future of Sri Lanka's political landscape, after a newly formed party led by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa swept to victory.
Sri Lanka government in crisis after comeback of ex-leader
The return of Rajapaksa to public life marks an unlikely turnaround for the two-time former president, who was unceremoniously voted out of office in 2015, amid allegations of corruption, nepotism and war crimes.
Considered a military hero among supporters, 72-year-old Rajapaksa was first elected president in 2005 and returned to office in 2010, a year after government forces routed Tamil rebel groups to end the country's brutal 25-year civil war. His surprise victory last Sunday now threatens to upend a still fragile political system marred by years of conflict and instability.
Addressing reporters at a press conference in the wake of the result, Rajapaksa called for the immediate dissolution of parliament and a snap national election.
"The victory is a clear indication that Sri Lankans are fed up of inaction and want to rebuild Sri Lanka," said Rajapaksa in a message posted on his official Facebook page.