Voting begins in Sri Lanka for 65 local government bodies

July 23, Colombo: Voting for 65 local government institutions in Sri Lanka commenced Saturday morning amid stern warnings from the Election Commissioner and heavy security from the Police to ensure free and fair polls.

The polling began at 7:00 am today for some 2.5 million voters at 2,226 polling stations across the country. A total of 5,688 candidates are contesting the polls to elect 875 members to the 65 local bodies. Polls will close at 4:00 pm.

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya warned that any election law violation at any polling station will lead to cancellation of the results.

The Commissioner said that videoing and photographing of polling centers are strictly prohibited and the media are allowed only to cover the casting of vote by the President, Prime Minister, Speaker and the Opposition leader.

The Police department has deployed a 25,000 strong police contingent in all areas where the polls are held to curb election law violations.

The Police Election Secretariat meanwhile, said it had received 97 complaints on election related incidents and 47 of them are election law violations. The police have arrested 137 people involved in the incidents.

Meanwhile, the government urged the people in the Northern Province to cast their votes without fear and hesitation as the government has made security arrangements for a conducive atmosphere.

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