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Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections: Five things to know

Officials vow 'infection-free' poll as question of China's influence looms

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, center, greets his party's candidates at a campaign rally ahead of the country's parliamentary election on July 22.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Sri Lankans will head to polling stations on Wednesday for a general election shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic: They must wear face masks to enter polling booths and observe social distancing while voting. Voters will also be permitted to use their own pens to mark their ballots.

These are just a few of the unprecedented public health measures the country's election commission has announced as it aims to conduct an "infection-free" poll on Aug. 5. Each booth will have hand sanitizers at the entrance and exit of each booth, and the polls will be kept open an extra hour in the evening, according to the commission.

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