Sri Lankan minister quits, to challenge Rajapaksa for presidency

November 21, 2014 2:38 PM

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COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan Health Minister Mithripala Sirisena resigned on Friday and said he would run as an opposition candidate against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a snap election in January.

The challenge from within his own ranks will be a blow for Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term and remains a popular leader despite foreign criticism over his sweeping powers and human rights record.

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