Warning Alert | Nov. 14: 6:25 p.m. EST
Protests, localized disruptions likely in conjunction with District Council elections scheduled in Hong Kong, China, Nov. 24.
This alert began 14 Nov 2019 23:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.
- Event: District Council elections
- Location: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
- Date: Nov. 24
- Impact: Heightened security; localized transport disruptions; likely protests
Hong Kong will hold council elections in each of its 18 districts on Nov. 26. Voters will directly elect 452 members in the councils, which have a combined total of 479 seats. The elections are the first to take place since anti-government protests began in Hong Kong over a now-withdrawn extradition bill. The elections will pit broadly pro-democracy parties against candidates of parties who generally support the political status quo and Beijing.
Political tensions are extremely high in the city ahead of the vote, and protests relating to the elections are likely. Pro-democracy groups may stage rallies calling for full democracy in the territory. Pro-Beijing groups could stage counterdemonstrations, as well as rallies in support of the poll. Demonstrations are most likely near government buildings in Admiralty and at election event venues. Protests over the District Council elections are especially likely if the vote is delayed or canceled. Officials have said they do not intend to postpone the vote. Nevertheless, antigovernment demonstrations and related transport disruptions, along with security concerns, could lead to the delay or cancellation of the elections. Demonstrations may also occur after the results are announced.
Police will increase security near election rallies and polling venues. Roadblocks are possible near large gatherings. Politically motivated attacks are possible; pro-democracy or pro-Beijing candidates could be attacked by rival groups or individuals at election rallies and other events. Skirmishes are especially likely if rival factions hold protests in proximity to each other or if police attempt to disperse gatherings or block access to rally sites. Localized transport and business disruptions are likely near protests, especially if clashes occur.
Exercise caution near election rally venues, as well as popular protests venues, such as the Chief Executive's Office and the Legislative Council complex. As a precaution, move away from the area if a large crowd begins to form. Plan for traffic disruptions near rally sites if larger demonstrations materialize. Do not photograph protests. Avoid politically sensitive arguments in public areas as a precaution.