Colombo, Sri Lanka – In the presidential elections in Sri Lanka, the polls have come to an end. According to official figures, increasing religious tensions and a slowing economy are at the center of attention for voters. The results are expected to be released on Sunday.
] The elections were closed on Saturday at 17:00 local time (11:30 GMT) after a largely peaceful election, but with several incidents of limited violence.
"We are I'm very glad to say that there are no serious incidents that we would call violence," Deshapriya told reporters in Colombo.
Previous presidential elections in the South Asian island nation were characterized by riots and clashes between rivals factions.
The counting of votes was conducted by Commission officials and a final result was expected on Sunday evening.
E According to police, unidentified armed men in a convoy of more were arriving Saturday near the northern city of Thanthirimale, about 190 km north of Colombo bombarded as 100 buses with predominantly Muslim voters.
Three buses were damaged, but there were no injuries, police spokesman Nuwan Gunasekara said.
"The Thanthirimale police are conducting the investigation, but so far no suspects have been arrested," Gunasekara said. The voters would have reached their destination safely and voted, he said.
On Saturday night another police bus carrying some internally displaced persons (IDPs) was stoned when he returned to Puttalam in northwestern Sri Lanka, police said. Two women aged 54 and 55 were injured in the attack.
Sajith Premadasa, a cabinet minister and candidate of the ruling United National Party (UNP), Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense minister, confronted brother of two-time former president Mahinda Rajapaksa .
Rajapaksa's Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) launched a campaign heavily focused on national security, following a series of coordinated suicide bombing that shook the country in April 269 people.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has announced that he will appoint his brother Mahinda Prime Minister in his election.
Premadasa, whose father was assassinated in 1993, focused on the country's slowdown in the economy, which promises to promote welfare programs for the poor, especially in housing.
"We Need a Strong Leader"
Gunasekara said at least 26 people were arrested across the country on election day for violating electoral laws.
According to the electoral commission, at least seven cases of violence occurred on Saturday, including allegations of shootings, knife wounds and personal injury. At least 248 more electoral violations were reported, Deshapriya Election Commission chief reported to reporters.
According to the Independent Center for the Supervision of Voting Power (CMEV), at least 196 violations were reported on election day, including at least three attacks and 61 cases of intimidation.
Voter turnout should be high, with Deshapriya predicting a final figure of more than 80 percent. In the last presidential elections in 2015, the turnout was 81.5 percent.
In Colombo, many voters said they chose to vote because of concerns over the country's economic situation.
Burdened by high foreign debt – much of it incurred during post-war reconstruction under Mahinda Rajapaksa – and slower economic growth of 2.7 percent – the island state's gross domestic product stagnated ( ).
"We are poor people, and whoever comes as president should help the people," said Sandya Kumari, 59, a cleaner who voted for Premadasa.