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At the exit of a polling station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, November 16, 2019. REUTERS / Dinuka Liyanawatte

In the coming hours, we are waiting for the results of the presidential election in Sri Lanka, the first election since the terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday, which left 258 dead. The competition is mainly between Sajith Premasada and Gotabhaya Rajapakse. One of the keys to the result is already in the participation rate, particularly high.

With our regional correspondent, Sébastien Farcis

80% of voters voted on Saturday, almost the same figure as in the previous presidential election in 2015. And above all, this participation is 70% in the north and east of Sri Lanka, regions where minorities are Tamils ​​and Muslims.

A high rate for these populations generally left to the margins, and a sign that could displease Gotabhaya Rajapakse: these two minorities are indeed afraid of the return of the authoritarian Rajapakse clan , and should vote in majority for its rival, Sajith Premasada.

In this tight duel between these two men, Muslims and Tamils ​​could play a crucial role and until the last minute, some tried to intimidate them or physically prevent them from voting.

On the eve of the election on Saturday, a bus carrying Muslim voters was attacked with bullets and stones. Luckily, nobody was killed and voters were able to go to the polling station.