Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will not be seeking a second term, paving the way for a record 35 candidates competing for the top job.
Sluggish economic growth, national security, endemic corruption and deep ethnic and religious divisions in the South Asian nation will be key issues at the upcoming polls.
The UN has accused the Sri Lankan military of killing thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, in the last weeks of the civil war with Tamil separatists that ended in 2009.
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court unanimously ruled as unconstitutional President Maithripala Sirisena's order to dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections.
The past few weeks have thrown the Indian Ocean nation into political chaos as rival parties jockey for power. The constitutional crisis has put a spotlight on multiple political issues that have been simmering for a while.
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