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Ranil-Sirisena under pressure to step down

The Sri Lankan president and prime minister face mounting calls to step aside after early results showed a resounding defeat for Maithripala Sirisena's SLFP and Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNP at the local government election held yesterday, and a sweeping victory for the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

At a press briefing this morning, the leader of the Joint Opposition, Dinesh Gunawardane said the unity government had "no option but to resign", arguing the mandate given to it by the 2015 election had expired yesterday. 

Colombo papers reported today that Mr Wickremesinghe is also under pressure to resign as UNP leader, after polls predict a weak second place. 

Full official results are expected to be released later today.