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New York

Wed, 22 Jan 2020 21:20 GMT

Sri Lankan Officials Hit By Food Poisoning Just Before Elections


7Dnews London

Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:19 GMT

Sri Lanka officials said on Friday November 15th that at least 50 Sri Lankan election officials at the capital Colombo's main counting centre were admitted to hospital with food poisoning on the eve of presidential polls.

The 50 men and women were being treated at the National Hospital after a meal at the centre, who were responsible for tallying hundreds of thousands of votes, hospital spokeswoman, Pushpa Soysa, said.

"We have 50 officials at the moment," Soysa said, adding they are being treated for food poisoning."

The counting centre hit by the food poisoning was at the prestigious Royal College, the country’s former assassinated president Premadasa's former school, officials said.

An investigation was under way, police said, just a day before Sri Lanka votes in what has become a closely fought presidential election.

Some 15.99 million people are eligible to elect a president from among 35 candidates. Over 150,000 officials have been deployed to conduct the election at 12,600 polling boxes, and nearly 50 counting centres nationwide.

On Wednesday November 14th, campaigning ended, but police reported sporadic violence, including the knifing of an author who had published a book on corruption under the former regime.