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Candidates register for Sri Lanka's upcoming presidential election

Voters register for the upcoming Sri Lanka elections. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Colombo, Sri Lanka Oct 07, 2019, 04.45 PM (IST)

Candidates registered for the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential election on Monday in Colombo.

According to the election commission, a record number of 35 candidates have registered.

Notable candidates include former defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa of the main opposition party, the Sri Lanka People's Front, and Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Front.

Rajapaksa, brother of pro-China former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said he is ready to repair ties with China, should he win the November election, one of his advisers has said.

Premadasa, 52, son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa who was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger rebel suicide bomber in 1993, is popular among the rural poor.

The election is likely to be dominated by national security issues, after a wave o suicide bombings claimed by Islamic State killed more than 250 people in April, denting the island's critical tourism industry.