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In Sri Lanka, counting of votes for the parliamentary elections has begun at 77 counting centres across the country. The polling was held yesterday with around 71 percent voting and no major incident reported. 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka has become the first country in South Asia to hold general elections and that it reflects the confidence  Sri Lankans have in efforts to control the COVID pandemic.

The tally for party wise vote percentage in electoral districts will be known by late evening but preferential results for candidates will be declared by tomorrow evening. The country has adopted a preferential system of voting based on proportional representation to elect a 225 - member parliament. Out of them, 196 members are elected from 22 electoral districts based on votes for political parties and independent groups while the remaining 29 seats are based on party performance at the national level.   

Voters have the option to give preference for three candidates the party voted for. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former PM Ranil Wickremsinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena are among the main contestants seeking to enter the parliament.

Over 7450 candidates are in the  fray for parliament seats and security arrangements are tight outside counting centers. The elections were postponed twice after the COVID outbreak. Parliament was dissolved in early March, six months before its term ended as President Gotabaya Rajapksa was seeking a clear majority in parliament for his party. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking two-thirds majority in parliament and has said that his party will make arrangements to create two-thirds majority in parliament if they fail on their own.




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