A total of 35 candidates are in the fray and around 1.6 crore people are eligible to exercise their franchise. Over 12 thousand polling stations have been set up and over 68 thousand security personnel deployed to ensure free and fair polls. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe issuing a special statement called on the public to peacefully vote and maintain law and order for a free and fair election.
The main fight is between former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister Sajith Premadasa. Both the candidates have campaigned mainly on the plank of national security and good governance. This is the first time in the country’s history that neither of sitting President or Prime minister is contesting the elections.
The counting of votes will begin after the end of polling and results are expected by Sunday. A candidate needs to poll over 50 per cent of valid votes to be declared winner, else the second preference votes have to be counted. Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with rumours and fake news today even as the campaign has come to an end on Wednesday midnight.
A news channel reported a hike in the price of wheat flour following which government had to announce a clarification to deny it.