Sri Lanka votes in poll set to cement president's hold
Polling begins in Sri Lanka to elect a new parliament for the country in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is set to sweep the hustings.world Updated: Apr 09, 2010 00:31 IST
Polling begins in Sri Lanka to elect a new parliament for the country in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is set to sweep the hustings.
President Rajapaksa casted his vote at a polling station in Hambantota in western Sri Lanka.
Polling polling begun at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm. Counting will begin this evening and first results are expected by tomorrow morning.
The elections which come on the heels of Rajapaksa's runaway win in the January 26 Presidential polls, which he won by over 1.8 million votes, will see as many as 7,620 candidates from 36 political parties and 306 independent groups.
Rajapaksa's party is involved in a three-cornered contest with the main opposition UNF alliance and the JVP and detained ex-Army chief Sarath Fonseka's Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is favoured in opinion polls to wrest the opponents.
Today elections is also seen as an litmus test for detained ex-army chief Fonseka. It would be interesting to see that whether Fonseka could attract voters as during the polls when he was the common opposition candidate.
Fonseka's wife, Anoma, in a last ditch effort appealed to the voters to cast their ballot in favour of her husband led DNA to secure the release of the detained former army chief.