Sri Lankans head to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president in a landmark vote as the island nation struggles with a sluggish economy, security challenges and increasing political polarisation.
The election is contested by a record 35 candidates from across the political spectrum.
The island nation has traditionally high rates of voter participation, with more than 15.9 million registered voters in a total population of 21.8 million, according to Election Commission statistics.
Sri Lanka‘s government operates under a semi-presidential system, where the president holds widespread executive authority but governs in partnership with a prime minister they appoint and a cabinet recommended by the prime minister.
Burdened with high debt and sluggish economic growth, the Sri Lankan economy could not afford the hit it took following the Easter Sunday bombings in April, which killed more than 260 people and wounded hundreds more.