The dates are:
Cairns 10-11 July (PNG Honorary Consulate, Suite 4, Conservatory Building, 12-14 Lake Street)
Brisbane 12 and 15-16 July (PNG Consulate General, Christie Centre, Suite 8 Level 11/320 Adelaide Street)
Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said the overseas enrolment effort was an historic occasion for Papua New Guinea to offer people living overseas enrolment in an electoral process.
“The BRC, by its decision to extend enrolment of Bougainvilleans living in Honiara, Gizo, Cairns and Brisbane, has raised the bar for participation in this democratic process,” Claudio said.
“The Commission has had to strike the right balance between making enrolment available to Bougainville living overseas within the given timeframe and resources, and the need to maintain a secure process where only eligible people are enrolled in accordance with the laws.”
The Commission has earlier forewarned that given the expected limited enrolments and resources available, only a few days would be available in each location.
“The time will be short, and people should prepare themselves to be at enrolment centres on time,” Claudio said.
“We’ve been in close contact with Bougainville Associations since the decision to extend enrolment to the four overseas locations, and we have been very grateful for the on the ground liaison being provided by these well organised local networks.”
The Commission understood that some Bougainvilleans may miss out, either because PNG citizenship is required to enrol, or because they lived far and wide in other locations around the world, but that face-to-face enrolment was the best way to establish the identity of voters and ensure only eligible voters are on the referendum roll.
“The laws do not allow for electronic voting, and the Commission is not confident that electronic voting would create a secure roll – we believe this decision will open enrolment to as many Bougainvilleans as possible.”
The voter eligibility criteria established by the two governments for non-resident Bougainvilleans, or those outside Bougainville, are:
- Have links to Bougainville either by birth, adoption, marriage, or clan
- Be born on or before 12 October 2001
- Are a PNG citizen, and
- Are entitled to vote in PNG National Elections
People must satisfy all criteria; you must be a PNG citizen and cannot be a dual citizen.