Sept 21, Colombo: The Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said the provincial council elections held for the Northern, Central and North Western provinces are by and large free and fair except for some minor incidents.
The voting ended at 4:00 p.m. today without any reports of major incidents. The counting of votes began at 7:00 p.m. and the counting of postal votes is in progress now.
The ballot boxes are now being dispatched to the counting centers, the state run radio reported.
There are 198 counting centers set up in the central province. Counting in the north western province is taking place at 197 centers while 82 counting centers have been set up in the Northern Province.
According to the Returning Officers voter turnout was high in all three provinces.
Over 60 percent of registered voters have cast their ballots in the Central and Northern Provinces while in North Western Province voter turnout was 55 percent, local media reported.
In Northern Province, voter turnout in Vavuniya district was about 65 percent while in Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts and it was over 70 percent. Kilinochchi District reported 68 percent voters reporting to polls and 60 percent in the Jaffna District.
In Central Province 62 percent voters turned in to cast their ballots in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya districts while voter turnout in the Matale district was 65 percent. In some estate areas in Nuwara Eliya district voting was about 80 percent.
About 55 percent of registered voters exercised their franchise in the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts of North Western Province.
The first election result is expected at 10:00 p.m. local time Saturday.