Tight Finish

Sri Lanka votes Friday in an election that was meant to end a power struggle but is now widely expected to return a hung parliament that could further undermine an already faltering peace bid
The vote, the third in four years, was called by President Chandrika Kumaratunga after she disagreed with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over his handling of a Norwegian-backed bid to end ethnic bloodshed.rn

rn Kumaratunga accused the prime minister, who is from a rival party, of conceding too much to the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in peace talks aimed at halting the conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.rn

rn The Tigers are expected to gain more political clout after Fridays vote.rn

rn They are not in the running, but their proxies in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are expected to get about 15 to 18 seats from the 225 on offer.rn

rn They could even emerge as kingmakers, with analysts predicting a hung parliament as the parties of Kumaratunga and Wic