I have appealed to all police officers (in North Sumatra) not to take picture with any candidate competing in the simultaneous regional elections
Medan, N Sumatra (ANTARA) - North Sumatra Police Chief Inspector General Martuani Sormin affirmed that police officers dispatched to secure this year's simultaneous regional elections, due to take place on December 9, would maintain their neutrality.

"I have appealed to all police officers (in North Sumatra) not to take picture with any candidate competing in the simultaneous regional elections," he told local journalists after leading a roll call for securing the fiesta of democracy here Saturday.

For the cops violating the National Police's commitment to maintaining its neutrality in the upcoming elections, they would receive tough sanctions, he said, adding that whoever wins the elections, they are perceived as the best figures.

In North Sumatra, 23 districts/cities participate in this year's simultaneous regional elections, including Medan city and the districts of Toba, Pakpak Bharat, Nias, Nias Barat, and Nias Selatan.

Sixty four candidate pairs compete in the regional elections.

In Medan, the capital of North Sumatra Province, the mayoral election is contested by candidate pair number 02, Muhammad Bobby Afif Nasution-Aulia Rachman, and candidate pair number 01, Akhyar Nasution-Salman Alfarisi.

Five days prior to the convening of the mayoral election, flash floods swept through certain areas of the city and its outskirts.

The Medan Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) was quoted by the local media as reporting that the flash floods affected 5,965 residents, or 1,983 households, while a total of 2,773 houses were affected.

The flooding, triggered by the overflowing of Belawan River following downpour in the affected areas on early Friday (Dec 4), killed five residents of Tanjung Selamat Village in Sunggal Subdistrict, Deliserdang District, Sunggal Subdistrict Head Ismail revealed.

Ismail has pegged a possible rise in the number of fatalities since search efforts to rescue and evacuate flood victims were still underway.

The search and evacuation missions in disaster zones were conducted by a joint team of search and rescue workers from the North Sumatra Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), police, and SAR Agency, he remarked.

The floodwaters reached a height of two and three meters in certain areas, he noted.

The authorities reported that the flash floods swamped at least 140 houses in Tanjung Selamat Village, Ismail noted.

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Translator: Munawar M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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