Our preparation must be credible and follow democratic principles

Bougainvilleans should not worry about the end result of the Referendum but pay more attention to the processes that lead up to it.

ABG President Grand Chief, Dr John Momis made this statement last week to the Bougainville Women Leaders Regional Workshop on the Referendum.

“The first thing that we must worry about is the preparation on the lead up to the Referendum, we must ensure that our preparation is credible and follows democratic principles,” said Momis.

“There are no short cuts to achieving Bougainville’s aspirations to realise a political future that the people desire, only the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) is the way forward for Bougainville,” said Momis.

Momis warned that taking short cuts will only risk the future of Bougainville so the implementation of the BPA remains the prerogative of the ABG and the National Government.

“The leaders of both governments must understand the Bougainville Peace Agreement; it is not only an agreement about service delivery but it is also about building a new government and how the GoPNG must support the efforts by the people of Bougainville as they determine their political future,” said Momis.

He also emphasised the need for the people and the government to start planning and preparing for a successful outcome of the Referendum.

Paramount amongst the President’s message to the women leaders was the call for unity for the people of Bougainville.

“Unity does not mean uniformity for Bougainvilleans, we can have diverse cultures and belief systems but we must all be united in the belief that Bougainville will achieve its political ambitions.

“I challenge all the women leaders and the people of Bougainville to have the heroic ambition to energise the people to unite and work together and empower them to make informed decisions in the Referendum,” said Momis.



Troy Taule