23 candidates to contest presidential poll in Sri Lanka

11:04, December 17, 2009      

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Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said on Wednesday that the 2010 presidential election will be an election with the largest number of candidates.

Dissanayake told reporters that 23 candidates representing 18 political parties and five independent groups will contest the presidential election to be held on Jan. 26.

Incumbent President Mahida Rajapakse representing the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseke who is the common candidate of Sri Lankan opposition parties are the main contestants.

Dissanayake said the period given for handing over deposits for the poll ends at 12 noon on Wednesday.

Dissanayake said the department accepts nominations for the election on Thursday.

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa called for an early presidential election two years ahead of schedule to capitalize on the war victory against Tamil tiger rebels, a victory which is equally credited by opposition common candidate Fonseka.

Source: Xinhua
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