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Sri Lankan President Seeks Third Term in Close Election

Sri Lankans voted Thursday to choose a new president in a high stakes race that pits President Mahinda Rajapaksa against his former aide, Mithripala Sirisena. The contest is expected to be the tightest the nation has witnessed in decades.
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares to cast his vote for presidential elections at a polling station in Tangalle, about 150 kilometers southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015.
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares to cast his vote for presidential elections at a polling station in Tangalle, about 150 kilometers southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015.

Supporters of Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena set off firecrackers in front of his campaign poster at the end of voting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015. 
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Supporters of Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena set off firecrackers in front of his campaign poster at the end of voting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015. 

A Sri Lankan police officer stands guard at a polling station during the presidential elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015. 
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A Sri Lankan police officer stands guard at a polling station during the presidential elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 8, 2015. 

A Sri Lankan polling officer carries a ballot box towards a polling station on the eve of the presidential elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7, 2015. 
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A Sri Lankan polling officer carries a ballot box towards a polling station on the eve of the presidential elections in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan. 7, 2015. 

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