Over 7450 candidates are in fray for parliament seats while around 1.62 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Around four hundred voters, who are undergoing quarantine, will not be able to vote because of COVID.
Persons who have successfully completed the 14-day institutional quarantine and are undergoing home quarantine may vote at extra polling booths allocated for them. Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has asserted that COVID will not be spread through polling stations.
He said the voters are allowed to bring their own blue or black pen to cast their preferences and will be provided a disinfected pen if not having themselves. All the polling booths are being disinfected before the polling begins on Wednesday at 7 AM. The polling hours have been extended by an hour till 5 PM in wake of social distancing to be observed.
The elections were postponed twice after the COVID outbreak as parliament was dissolved in early March. The ruling party under Prime minister Mahinda Rajpaksa is seeking two-thirds majority in parliament to implement policies of President Gotabaya Rajapksa and bring a new constitution.
The opposition is divided between two parties led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe and former minister Sajith Premadasa, who lost the Presidential elections last November. The new parliament is scheduled to have its first sitting on 20th of this month, which will be addressed by President.