Violence mars Sri Lankan presidential polls

Violence mars Sri Lankan presidential polls

Agency News

Colombo, Nov 16 : Unknown assailants attacked two buses carrying members of minority Muslim community in the northwest Sri Lanka to polling stations on Saturday morning, to exercise their franchise in the presidential election, police said here on Saturday.

A police spokesperson said that no one was injured in the incident, however, the buses had been damaged. The attackers resorted to stone-pelting, damaging the windscreen of the bus. They also opened fire at the other bus. After getting information about the incident, police rushed to the spot, but by that time, the attackers had fled the scene. Subsequently, the electorates were taken to polling booths safely. Police were looking for the attackers.

Additional army units have been dispatched to major cities, to ensure that no untoward incident occurs during the polls.

Polling for the Presidential election commenced at 7am at around 12,845 polling centres. Voting will close at 5pm. A total of 15.9 million eligible voters will exercise their democratic right, to choose their new head of the state among 35 candidates.

Sri Lanka's presidential vote is conducted under a contingent vote system. The electorate expresses their top three preferences for President. If no candidate is able to attain more than 50 per cent of the vote, the polls of those who listed them as their second preference will be added to the tallies of the top two candidates, to choose the winner. (UNI)