Colombo, August 6: The counting of votes for results of parliamentary or general elections in Sri Lanka is underway today. According to Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, final results of the Sri Lanka general elections are likely by midnight or Friday morning. According to local media reports, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) was leading in polls.

Polling to elect a new 225-member Parliament was held on Wednesday amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Voting ended without major incidents of violence and with a turnout of 71 percent, Deshapriya said. More than 7,000 candidates contested the elections. Mahinda Rajapaksa is running as the prime ministerial candidate from the governing SLPP and is tipped to win.

While the SLPP is ahead in polls, the main opposition United National Party (UNP), led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was on the fourth position, according to reports. Ahead of polls, the UNP was abandoned by most of its previously popular candidates who contested under the banner of a separate party, known as the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, which is headed by former presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. The Samagi Jana Balawegaya is on the second position in polls.

An alliance of opposition parties - Jathika Jana Balawegaya - is on the third position, according to reports. The counting of votes is still underway. Rajapaksa clan's SLPP has to win majority (113 seats) in the house in order to secure the government's full control in the semi-presidential representative democracy. Ravana Was 1st Person to Fly Aircraft? Sri Lanka Claims Enough Evidence Available, Tells People to Help With Research.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had dissolved Parliament in March, paving the way for the 16th general elections which were initially scheduled for April 25, but were postponed twice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The President has summoned the new Parliament to meet on August 20.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 06, 2020 04:54 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website