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04 Dec 2020 | 06:48 AM UTC

India: Local elections planned across Kerala State, December 8-14. Increased security, transport disruptions, rallies likely. Violence possible.

India News Alert

Local elections planned across Kerala State, India, Dec. 8-14. Increased security, transport disruptions, rallies likely. Violence possible.

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/4/2020, 6:48 AM until 12/16/2020, 11:59 PM (UTC). COUNTRY/REGION Thiruvannthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode

Event

Campaign activities are underway across Kerala State ahead of local body elections Dec. 8-14. Officials will announce results Dec. 16. Authorities have declared each voting day as a paid holiday for all public and private organizations in respective polling regions. The election schedule is as follows:

  • Dec. 8: Alappuzha, Idukki, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, and Thiruvananthapuram districts

  • Dec. 10: Ernakulam, Kottayam, Palakkad, Thrissur, and Wayanad districts

  • Dec. 14: Kannur, Kasaragod, Kozhikode, and Malappuram districts

Voting typically occurs at centers such as public schools and other government buildings. Rallies and other political events could prompt localized transport disruptions, especially in Thiruvananthapuram city. Security forces will likely deploy ahead of and during the elections due to concerns about political violence and the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sporadic clashes between supporters of rival parties are probable ahead of the vote. Protests and attacks on political party offices cannot be ruled out, especially after the announcement of results Dec. 16.

Security disturbances and protests are possible in the aftermath of the election due to the tense contest between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) coalition in power at the state level, the alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruling the central government, as well as the United Democratic Front (UDF) coalition. Political workers may stage demonstrations before, during, and after the polls. Localized transport and business disruptions are possible; clashes between rival political parties may also occur. Authorities will intensify random searches of vehicles and individuals during the election period. Tight security is certain around political party offices, government buildings, voting stations, public markets, religious sites, and transport hubs.

Transport disruptions are likely as voters reach and leave polling stations. Officials usually impose traffic restrictions within city limits and may temporarily limit public movement in sensitive areas if violence breaks out.

Advice

Avoid all protests due to the possibility of clashes. If violence breaks out, leave the area and take shelter in a secure building. Confirm business appointments, transport reservations, and road status before traveling on polling days, as well as on Dec. 16 during the result announcement. Allow additional travel time to reach destinations in affected areas. Monitor trusted local sources for protest details, as organizers are unlikely to announce them in advance. Heed all instructions of security personnel.

 

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