Sri Lanka minister defects to challenge president

November 22, 2014 4:18 AM

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COLOMBO - A senior minister quit Sri Lanka’s ruling party Friday to stand as the main opposition’s candidate in upcoming elections as he accused President Mahinda Rajapakse of turning the country into a dictatorship.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who is also general secretary in Rajapakse’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party, said he was confident of victory in January’s presidential election when he will stand as the main opposition United National Party’s candidate.

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