PNG must prepare well for Bougainville Referendum

Papua New Guinea needs to prepare well for the Bougainville Referendum, says researcher Dr Thomas Webster.

The Bougainville Referendum is an important national event with significant implications for both PNG and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville with June 19 2019 as the target date.

The Referendum is to determine whether ABG will gain independence or remain autonomous.

Following the launch of Bougainville Referendum Research Project to be carried out by the PNG NRI, Dr Webster said PNG needs to have good solid preparations for the Referendum.

He explained that good preparations will result in a good sound process Referendum and the outcome will be credible.

PNG NRI has engaged Dr Webster to lead the research project.

He stressed that the country has put a whole lot of time and effort into preparations for the 2017 National Elections and will again put a lot into preparations of the 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit.

“We also need to put time and effort into the Referendum and invest just as much time and resources into the Referendum process so that we have a peaceful outcome.

“If we don’t prepare well, we will live with the consequences and outcome and so we need to be responsible and invest in it,” Dr Webster said.

As part of the research project, there’ll be six major studies conducted during 2017 and completed in the early part of 2018.

The research reports will be launched as and when they’re completed during that time.

The aim of the project is to generate research-based information for informing relevant stakeholders in order to ensure that the process and outcome of the Referendum is credible.

Quintina Naime