Ballot paper for SL presidential election finalised. (Xinhua/Gayan sameera/IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Colombo, Oct 15 : The Election Commission of Sri Lanka has finalised the symbols for all 35 candidates contesting the November 16 presidential election and has also released a sample of the ballot paper which places name of candidates in alphabetical order, it was reported on Tuesday.

The first name on the list is of Aparekkhe Pannananda Thera who is contesting as an Independent candidate while former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake who is the National People's Party (NPP) candidate is last on the list, reports the Colombo-based Daily Financial Times newspaper.

The most important candidates, the ruling United National Party's (UNP) Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa who is contesting as the National Democratic Front (NDF) candidate features on the 19th spot, while Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate and former Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa's number is 25.

The Commission had said last week that the ballot paper for this election will be 26 inches long with the record number of candidates vying for the top job and this is would push the election bill close to 5 billion Sri Lankan rupees.

It added that bigger ballot boxes would be needed to enable people to cast their votes without inconvenience.

Meanwhile with the election campaign in full swing, the Commission also urged candidates to abide by the Code of Conduct which specially focuses on hate speech or speech prejudicial to national harmony.

It has also urged political parties, candidates and their supporters to abstain from hate speech of any form including speech that threatens or insults communities or social groups, especially women, persons with special needs or disabled, those of different sexual orientation and other religious or ethnic groups.

This will be the island nation's eighth presidential election, with incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena's term coming to an end on January 2020.

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