ABG’s No 2 outlines referendum and other plans

ABG Vice President and the Minister for Referendum and Veteran Affairs Patrick Nisira has announced his ministries’ consultation plans for Bougainville.

“I wish to take this opportunity to announce that my ministry as part of its trident strategy will continue consultations with the veteran communities in South, Central and North Bougainville.”  “My team has already done the first part of the consultations down in Buin on the 2nd and on the 4th in Central Bougainville and on the 6th will complete veteran consultations at the regional level here on the northern tip of Bougainville,” Mr Nisira said.

He also said on the 16th of this month his ministry and the office of the speaker will invite ABG members to a referendum workshop at the parliament level.

“The purpose of this workshop will be to formulate a common position on key issues about the actual date of the conduct of referendum, the choices available which includes the option of separate independence for Bougainville, the code of conduct during the referendum and also on the steps Bougainville needs to take after the referendum,’’ he said.

Mr Nisira stated that these were  important steps that must involve the elected leaders on Bougainville.

“Referendum is a political agenda and all elected leaders are called upon to provide leadership in each constituency to prepare Bougainville for the referendum, successful conduct and peaceful transition to the next steps ahead,” he said.

The Vice President also announced that the ABG will officially open a Mekamui office within the Bougainville administration to assist ABG with completion of reconciliations, unification and weapons disposal.

The opening of the Mekamui office will coincide with the MDF Commanders first visit to Buka after signing agreements in Panguna.

After completion of the ABG parliamentary workshop on referendum, a Bougainville leaders team will take the Bougainville position and negotiate it at a referendum summit  in Port Moresby.

And the agreed outcome of the summit on the key referendum decision will be presented to the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB) on the same week on the 3rd of December.