Sri Lanka Presidential election turnout could reach 84-pct: Poll chief

POST POLL: Full ballot boxes being brought to counting centres

ECONOMYNEXT – Turnout at Sri Lanka’s 2019 Presidential elections could reach 84 percent at the final count with the minimal violence, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said.

“Preliminary estimates are around 80 without postal votes. But I think it will be higher when the box count is done.”

The highest voter turnout is from Hambantota with 85 percent while the lowest is from Mannar with 62, percent. In the last election it was 65 percent, he said.

In the 2015 Presidential election, voter turnout was 81.52 percent.

Deshapriya said the 2019 Presidential poll was the first in the country’s history to be held without serious violence.

Though a convoy of Muslim voters were shot at in Tantirimale, he said no one was injured. A tire of a bus was damaged.

There were seven incidents of violence, and only one case of bodily harm involving a stabbing injury, where the suspect was arrested.

“We have to thank all politicians, candidates, activists,” he said. “During the election period there were 4700 complaints to our centre. About 42 related to violence.

Other were violations of elections laws. About 100 others were minor incidents like not granting leave.”

He said the first postal result, usually Ratnapura would be out before midnight. About 50 results may be out by 600 am Sunday. (Colombo/Nov16/2019)

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