Sri Lankans to vote in parliamentary election today

Colombo: Sri Lankans will vote in the twice-postponed parliamentary election on Wednesday with the powerful Rajapaksa family-run party expected to gain control of the assembly that could allow them to amend the Constitution to restore presidential powers.

Over 16 million people are eligible to vote to elect 196 out of a total of 225 lawmakers for the next five years. Twenty-nine others will be named from a national list according to the number of votes received by each party.

The counting would take place only on the following morning – a departure from the practice of counting the ballots from 8 pm on the election night.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa hopes for a two-thirds majority for the Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP) in the general election so that he can amend the Constitution to restore presidential powers curbed by a 2015 constitutional change.

His older brother and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking reelection as prime minister, is assured of a sweeping victory as the main Opposition is badly divided.

As many as five members of the Rajapaksa family are in the fray – Mahinda Rajapaksa, his elder son Namal Rajapaksa, the older brother Chamal Rajapaksa and nephews Shasheendra Rajapaksa and Nipuna Ranawaka. (PTI)

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