The News Scroll 06 July 2020  Last Updated at 7:56 pm | Source: PTI

Sri Lanka extends polling time for August parliamentary elections

Sri Lanka extends polling time for August parliamentary elections
Colombo, Jul 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Monday extended the time for the twice-postponed August 5 parliamentary elections by one hour after conducting several mock polls in adherence to the safety guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The polls will take place between 7am to 5pm local time, which is an hour''s time extension for voters to visit the polling station, election commission officials said.

In the previous elections, the voting was conducted between 7am and 4pm.

The counting of votes, which normally takes place on the night of the polls, will now start at 8 am the following morning, the elections commission said.

The announcement of the final results would be delayed until the night of August 6.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on March 2 dissolved the Parliament, six months ahead of schedule, and called for snap polls on April 25. However, the election commission in mid-April postponed the elections by nearly two months to June 20 due to the coronavirus outbreak in the island nation.

The commission last month informed the apex court that the polls cannot be held on June 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the new date was decided following a unanimous decision reached between the members of the commission.

Over 16 million voters are registered to vote on August 5 to elect a 225-member parliament for a 5-year term.

The officials said the extended voting time was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The elections commission has been struggling to make arrangements for a free and fair poll due to the health risks causes by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They held several mock polls to determine the time needed for each of the procedures while maintaining health guidelines to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

The election will be held under the proportional representation system with 196 members elected from 22 electoral districts and another 29 appointed based on each political party''s cumulative votes tally.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, Sri Lanka has 2,076 COVID-19 cases with 11 deaths. PTI CORR RS RS

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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