Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC)

Referendum observer applicants commended

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said the involvement of independent observers, scrutineers and the media underlined the shared responsibility of ensuring the referendum is conducted in a free and fair manner.

“Observers play a critical role in the democratic electoral process, observing the conduct of polling and counting according to international standards. They add to the credibility of the process,” Claudio said.

Enrolment starts for Lihir, Porgera, Ramu

The decision was made in response to large populations of Bougainvilleans who have been restricted by employment and remoteness to travel to their provincial PNG Electoral Commission office to enrol.

“To those who have spoken out with a strong desire to take part in the referendum, we have heard you, logistics are now in place, and please be active in getting yourself enrolled this Monday and Tuesday,” stated the BRC.

Enrolment will take place on Monday and Tuesday 22-23 July at:

BRC announces enrolment dates for Australia

Enrolment dates for B’villeans in SI

The dates set are:

  • Honiara 5-6 July and 8-9 July (PNG High Commission, Honiara)
  • Gizo 11-13 July (location to be confirmed)

The decision of overseas enrolment in Honiara and Gizo (Solomon Islands), and Cairns and Brisbane (Australia), was made by the Bougainville Referendum Commission meeting with Chair Bertie Ahern on June 21, in response to the strong desire of Bougainvilleans living overseas to have their say in the referendum.

Voter enrolment continues

“It will continue until the issue of writs for the Referendum and until the job is done,” says the Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio.

“We will keep open beyond June 23 the three BRC regional centres in Buka, Arawa and Buin for voters yet to see their ward recorder,” he stated as phase two of the referendum enrolment process draws to a close.

“We congratulate all Bougainville ward recorders who have done the hard work of phase one and two – removing old or ineligible names off the 2015 election roll, and enrolling new voters in each ward.

BRC ramps up awareness for voter registration

Starting last week, people living in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on the Digicel network are receiving short SMS messages to their phone with awareness and updates about the referendum process – BRC Tok Save.

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said as the Commission gains more staffing and resources, it has been able to boost much-needed awareness across face to face, voter materials, website, media, Facebook, and now mobile phone.

Special enrolment arrangements for AROB

From today (Friday) until Sunday, the Commission will have special enrolment stations in the three regional centres: Buka, Arawa and Buin town, and has directed village ward recorders to locate themselves in one central place in each Ward.

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said the Commission has heard people’s concerns regarding late enrolments, especially those working in town.

“We understand everyone’s desire to take part in the referendum and we’ve been overwhelmed by enrolments so far – so thank you to everyone involved,” Claudio said.

Confirmed procedures for eligible voters: BRC

This is according to the laws governing the referendum. The Bougainville Referendum Commission assured people that the referendum follows the rules and criteria set down by law and by both governments.

“The BRC is acting as a neutral ‘umpire’ to ensure the referendum is conducted freely and fairly,” Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio said.

BRC thanks National Government, ABG for referendum funding

Mauricio Claudio confirmed that the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) has received further funds last week.

“In the last week the BRC received K10 million from the National Government in our account and a further K1.5 million has been made available by the ABG. These funds are just in time to support the BRC’s efforts to enrol all eligible Bougainvilleans to vote at the referendum.”

In 2019 the BRC has received K18.7 million from National Government and K2 million from ABG towards their revised K27.8 million referendum budget.

K20m released for B’ville referendum: Finance

In a statement, Finance Minister Richard Maru said: “The first K10 million of the budget funds were transferred in two lots of K5m in February and April and the second and final K10m was transferred on 5 June 2019.

“Funds are now available to support the referendum exercise and we stand ready to support the BRC conduct the referendum.

“The K20m in the budget for the Bougainville Referendum Commission has now been fully disbursed to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to carry the referendum exercise as committed by the National Government of Papua New Guinea.”