Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a retired lieutenant colonel, nicknamed the "Terminator" by his own family, won 53-54 percent of the vote as his main rival Sajith Premadasa of the ruling party conceded the race.
Former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa's family is eyeing a comeback after a decade in power remembered by supporters for crushing the Tamil militants. His main opponent Sajith Premadasa is vowing security and development in the island nation.
Sri Lanka goes to the polls on Saturday, and a minority vote could decide who will eventually rule the tiny island country.
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