Main opposition candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has taken an early lead in Saturday's presidential election. In the results declared by 4.30 am on Sunday, Rajapaksa had won postal votes of nine districts with his main challenger Sajith Premadasa winning postal votes of only three districts.
Postal votes are cast in advance by officials drafted for election duty on polling days.
In the result declared so far from the sole polling division in the south of the country, Rajapaksa has won 65 per cent against Premadasa's 28 per cent.
Premadasa has won three polling divisions, Jaffna, Nallur and Kayts in the Tamil region of Jaffna district by 85, 86 and 69 per cent against Rajapaksa's six, five and 17 per cent.