Colombo, November 16 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, on Saturday urged citizens to cast their votes in the Presidential election without fear, as all arrangements had been made for their security.
In a statement issued as polling in the Presidential election began, Sirisena said that thousands of police officers and personnel of the army, navy and air force had been deployed to guard the polling booths and the approach roads.
“In a country where democracy has been strengthened it is a right and also a duty to vote for the person of one’s choice,” Sirisena said.
He asked people not be misled by rumors.
As voting began across the island at 7 am on Saturday, long queues were seen outside polling stations with voters keen to cast their votes early. Voting will end at 5 pm, local time.
A record 35 candidates are contesting the Presidential Election, which is being held after five years.
Over 12,000 voting centers have been set up across the island for an estimated 16 million voters out of the country’s 22 million population.
43 counting centers have been set up.
The Elections Commission urged political parties to ensure a free and fair poll and said that the winner is expected to be announced by Monday.