Sri Lanka tightens security on poll eve

Colombo, Aug 16 (IANS) Over 70,000 security personnel have been deployed in Sri Lanka on the eve of a parliamentary election which will elect a new 225-member parliament and a new government.

According to police officials, at least 75,000 police officers and security forces have been deployed in all 14 districts of the island nation, just hours before voters will cast their votes on Monday, Xinhua reported.

The election will see a close battle between the newly-formed coalition, the United National Front (UNF) which is led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) whose main candidate is former president Mahinda Rajapakse.

Rajapakse is looking at making a political comeback and become the nation’s new prime minister if the opposition gains majority in Monday’s polls.

President Maithripala Sirisena, however, has declined to nominate Rajapakse as the party’s prime ministerial candidate, stating that the post would be offered to another senior UPFA member if the party, led by the president, gains more than 113 seats in the parliament.

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