Lankans get ready to vote in new president

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Colombo, Jan. 25 (ANI): Citizens of Sri Lanka are ready to vote in a new president, and the country's Elections Department has reportedly made all arrangements for the January 26 poll.

This is the country's sixth presidential election.

On Monday, election department officials said that they had dispatched ballot boxes and poll officials to over 11,000 polling stations in 22 electoral districts. It added that all would be in place by the time polling starts.

Colombo's Chief Election Official G. A. J. Sylvester said 1026 polling stations would be operational in the capital.

Some 14 million people are expected to vote between 7 a.m and 4 p.m local time in Tuesday's poll.

Meanwhile, the Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMV), an independent watchdog, has voiced concern and doubt about free and fair polls being held.

"There was a blatant disregard for the rule of law, undermining of the authority of the Elections Commissioner," Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Head of CMEV told reporters.

More than 800 cases of election-related violence including five deaths have been reported since the election was declared in November.

The contestants are Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent president, and his opponent is former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. (ANI)

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