Final results by 6 pm today | Sunday Observer

Final results by 6 pm today

Calling this the most peaceful Presidential election in Sri Lankan history, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said that, despite several instances of voter intimidation, no serious incidents that would affect the final result were recorded during the polling period.

Addressing the media at the Information Department yesterday, minutes after the close of polls, Deshapriya said they hope to release the final result by 6PM today, even if there is a runoff, so that there is enough time for the newly elected President to be sworn in on Monday.

However, a President elect can wait up to two weeks from election day to be sworn in to office, he added.

Deshapriya, who is expected to step down shortly from the position of Chairman but may continue as one of the members of the Commission, said the islandwide voter turnout would be as high as 84%, including postal votes.

He said, according to unofficial data, the highest voter turnout has been recorded in Hambantota with 85% and lowest in Mannar with 62%.

Mannar, mostly comprising votes of the Muslim IDPs based in Puttalam, had recorded a 65% voter turn out at the last presidential election. However, the Chairman of the Election Commission said they don’t believe the shooting incident in Tantirimale police division on Friday (15) night on the buses transporting the IDP voters to Mannar had any major effect on the voting outcome.

The Election Commission had received a total of 4,769 complaints to date, including 42 incidents of violence and 117 minor incidents. The majority of the complaints were of violations of election law.

Thanking the senior officials from President down, civil society groups, media and the security forces, the Chairman said he appreciated the comments by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who said the election was held in a seamless manner.

The Chairman, however, expressed regret that the candidates dragged religion into the election propaganda.

“We will reveal later how religious leaders broke election law during the cooling period which is really unfortunate,” the Chairman said, adding that the commission was somewhat successful in preventing the candidates from exploiting the military to their advantage.

Deshapriya said this could be his last address to media as the Chairman of the Election Commission. He will remain in his current position until the interim report on the eighth Presidential election is finalised and other paperwork is finalised.