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The counting of votes is under way in Sri Lanka after Wednesday’s parliamentary election that saw a lower turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said counting started at 9am local time (03:30 GMT) and the first results were expected by late afternoon with the final tally coming in at about midnight.

Polling ended without major incidents of violence and with a turnout of 71 percent, Deshapriya said on Wednesday. More than 16.2 million people were registered to vote.

The voting rate was lower than the previous parliamentary elections in 2015, where a 77 percent turnout was recorded.

However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the number of voters was a show of confidence in the government over its efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The counting of votes is under way in Sri Lanka after Wednesday’s parliamentary election that saw a lower turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said counting started at 9am local time (03:30 GMT) and the first results were expected by late afternoon with the final tally coming in at about midnight.

Polling ended without major incidents of violence and with a turnout of 71 percent, Deshapriya said on Wednesday. More than 16.2 million people were registered to vote.

The voting rate was lower than the previous parliamentary elections in 2015, where a 77 percent turnout was recorded.

However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the number of voters was a show of confidence in the government over its efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

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