​Locals in Buka more aware: Police

​People are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about the 2017 National General Elections.

That is the main reason why elections in Bougainville have been quiet since nominations period.

Assistant Commissioner for Police (ACP) and Chief of Bougainville Police, Francis Tokura, said election preparations have been quiet, unlike previous years of election.

Tokura said from information he has gathered, one of the significant changes that Bougainville has seen is candidates going into wards and communities by themselves to do their own campaigning.

“In the past, we would see truckloads and groups of supporters driving around with candidates.”

He adds that there has been less activities and the main reason behind it would be that people are starting to educate themselves about the elections and are becoming more aware of who they want to represent them after the elections.

“The campaigning has been reduced down to a more modernised style to suit this day and age.”

He reiterated that the 2017 national general election is very important for Bougainville because it is also the Referendum window period.

The Referendum will take place in 2019 and should the people decide during that time that Bougainville will break away from the rest of PNG, there might not be another national election.

“The people are well aware of that and they’ve heard it from the leaders in Bougainville that this is a very significant national election for Bougainville,” Tokura adds.

It is anticipated that the polling and declaration period in Bougainville is expected to be quiet all throughout.

(Loop file pic)

Annette Kora