The race for Sri Lanka's presidency has taken a new turn after a member of the ruling party announced his resignation and decision to contest the upcoming elections as the main opposition candidate.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena will run against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January poll. The news on Friday came a day after Rajapaksa announced his intention to seek an unprecedented third term in office, made possible after he pushed through changes in the constitution.

Sri Lankans, however, were largely critical of these changes, discussing the recent developments with the hashtag #PresPollSL.