Although born in the Western Province, Sirisena hails from the North Central Province of the country and is the first president from that province.He is an agriculturist and does not belong to the Sri Lankan political elite.He was the general-secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and was Minister of Health until November 2014 when he announced his candidacy for the 2015 presidential election as the opposition coalition's "common candidate".
Maithripala Sirisena pledged to implement a 100-day reform program where he promised to rebalance the executive branch within 100 days of being elected, by reinforcing Sri Lanka’s judiciary and parliament, to fight corruption and to investigate allegations of war crimes from 2009, repeal the controversial eighteenth amendment, re-instate the seventeenth amendment and appoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister.
Following his release from prison, Sirisena joined All Ceylon SLFP Youth Organization led by Anura Bandaranaike and joined politics at the national level.
After serving at a number of state institutions, Sirisena obtained the SLFP membership in 1978.
During the 1981 Presidential poll, when Basil Rajapaksa joined the United National Party, he took over the responsibility of the Secretary of the organisation.
Subsequently, he was appointed the Polonnaruwa SLFP chief organiser by the SLFP hierarchy.
While in this office he initiated many concessionary grants to improve the standard of the farming community.He was also responsible for influencing the government's decision to give farmers a bag of fertilizer for Rs.350 in order to combat the food crisis at the time.He also saved the Paddy Marketing Board from privatization converting it into a government institution when he became the Agriculture Minister, in 2005.The Paddy Marketing Board continues to regulate the prices of paddy to this day.In order to combat the 2007–08 world food price crisis, Sirisena initiated a plan under the scheme ‘Api Wavamu – Rata Nagamu’ to improve local food production on national scale.