Sri Lanka PM takes early lead in presidential vote

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse took an early lead in the presidential election with the preliminary results released Friday showing him with a comfortable majority. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse took an early lead in the presidential election with the preliminary results released Friday showing him with a comfortable majority. Elections Commissioners Dayananda Dissanayake said counting was underway and hoped to release results throughout the morning.

The first to be announced was the counting of “postal ballots,” the votes of public servants deployed for the election, and it showed a hefty lead for Rajapakse over his main challenger, opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

In Rajapakse’s home constituency of Hambantota, he polled 6,918 postal votes as against 2,640 taken by Wickremesinghe.

Dissanayake said about 75 percent of the 13.3 million electorate turned out to vote. Election officials said the election appeared to be a close battle between the two main contenders. – AFP

-Amal Jayasinghe: win98win@gmail.com