Second Call

Voting for the speaker of Sri Lankas new parliament ended in a tie between candidates put up by the minority government and the opposition, an official said, adding that a fresh ballot would be held. rn
Parliament secretary general Priyani Wijesekara said after the vote that government candidate, Communist Party general secretary D.E.W. Gunasekara and opponent, ex-Buddhist affairs minister W.J.M. Lokubandara, each had 108 votes. rn

rnOne vote was rejected as the ballot paper had been spoiled, she said. rn

rnSeven of a group of nine Buddhist monks who hold seats in the 225-member assembly abstained while one MP failed to show up. rn

rn”The ballot boxes have been sealed and they will go for a fresh election,” Wijesekara said. rn

rnThe new vote got under way early afternoon. rn

rnPresident Chandrika Kumaratungas political future is riding on the vote after her Freedom Alliance at the April 2 polls won 105 seats in the assembly — eight short of a simple majority. rn

rnFailire to install her ch