Voting in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections was underway on Saturday, with a record 35 candidates contesting the poll.
The two frontrunners are ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa, 52, and the former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, who is running as the main opposition candidate.
More than 60,000 police officers have been deployed despite a relatively calm six-week campaign period in the run-up to the poll.
Some 15.9 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots from 7 a.m. (0130 GMT).
The polls will remain open for an extra hour until 5 p.m..
Rajapaksa and Premadasa are neck and neck, according to unofficial opinion polls.
There have been more than 4,000 complaints of election law violations, most of them pertaining to users posting on Facebook after official campaigning ended on Wednesday.
“We are in contact with the Facebook authorities to remove illegal posts and they are cooperating with us,” Commissioner General of Election Saman Sri Ratnayake told dpa.
The vote count is expected to commence at 5 p.m., but results are expected to start coming in in the early hours of Sunday.
Final results expected by noon. (dpa/NAN)