Urging people to boycott this weekend's Legislative Council elections or to cast blank ballots could breach the national security law, Security Secretary Chris Tang has warned, as he also reassured people that police will be working hard to prevent polling day terrorist attacks.
Tang said calls for people to shun the polls or cast blank votes have been made online by people abroad who are keeping a safe distance and such crimes could be even more serious than breaches of electoral law.
"Coercing people into not voting, or colluding with foreign powers is likely a violation against the national security law. I appeal to people not to engage in illegal activities, we will enforce the law accordingly," Tang said on RTHK's Overview Policy programme to be broadcast on Wednesday evening.
The security chief also said police officers from the quick reaction force will be deployed on Sunday to ensure the Legco polls will be conducted in a safe, peaceful and uninterrupted manner.
He said that as well as supplementing uniformed officers at polling stations, the units will try to prevent terrorist attacks.
"We'll also target lone-wolf style attacks in strategic locations. Such attacks are hard to detect from intelligence monitoring. We'll conduct searches of suspicious people," Tang said.
He added that members of the public understand that the restoration of social order didn't come easy and the police have been receiving more praise than before.