2019 Bougainville Referendum

Bougainvilleans congratulated

Manning also commended the Bougainvilleans for their overwhelming desire to become an independent nation. He said whilst the process is still not over until its ratification by the National Parliament of PNG, the people of Bougainville have spoken.

Manning called on Papua New Guineans around the country to respect the wishes of the people of Bougainville to become an independent nation.

EU commits to supporting peace process

The EU welcomes the peaceful conduct of the referendum and the constructive approach taken by both the Government of PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

UN congratulates B’ville

In the last three weeks, Bougainvilleans voted in large numbers and waited patiently for the counting and announcement of results. Voting was a celebration, during which the people of Bougainville exhibited deep rooted respect for human rights and democratic principles and demonstrated a profound commitment to peace.

Voting completed in PNG, SI, Aus

All the ballot boxes are expected to be secured in Port Moresby this Thursday (Dec 5) for dispatching to Buka for inclusion and counting.

Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato expressed satisfaction that referendum voting in PNG was a success and indeed, very peacefully conducted in the 20 voting districts.

There were minor hiccups when some Bougainvilleans were unable to locate their names on the referendum roll. However, Gamato said the issue was resolved by using provisional voting, which is allowed by the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC).

Referendum commentators urged to exercise caution

“While free speech is a guaranteed right of every citizen, including Bougainvilleans under our National Constitution, the Catholic Professionals Society is concerned with certain comments questioning the constitutional validity of the Bougainville Constitution, the referendum, and the envisaged consultation between our two governments after the declaration of results of the referendum,” said president, Paul Harricknen.

“The sequence of events from 2001 to date shows maturing relationship between our National Government and the Bougainville Government.

Over 200 polling venues open today

Polling commenced in Gizo, Solomon Islands and Cairns, Australia, this morning, marking the first time overseas polling has been offered for citizens of Papua New Guinea.

On Saturday, President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Chief Dr John Momis and Lady Momis, cast the first two votes in the historic Bougainville referendum at Bel Isi Park in Buka, witnessed by the co-chairs of the Joint Post-referendum taskforce, Sir Puka Temu and Albert Punghau.

Symbolic reconciliation to be hosted in ENB

According to an advance team, led by Advisor for the National Coordination Office of Bougainville Affairs, Dr Henry Okole, there are three reasons why Kokopo was chosen; one being that ENB was where most Bougainvilleans fled to during the crisis, that ENB was the forward base of the PNG Defence Force back then and that ENB is an ideal location for a pre-reconciliation program, which cannot be done in Bougainville where fighting and blood was shed.

He says the second phase of the reconciliation program is set to be held at Panguna, after the Referendum is conducted.

Referendum info via mobile phones

The Autonomous Bougainville Government is set to trial a new mobile phone awareness platform to provide people up to date information on the referendum and Peace Agreement.

For eight weeks starting September 22nd, Digicel users across Bougainville will receive an automated call from the ABG BPA Hotline with a recorded message from the ABG President, Chief Dr John Momis.

A number will then be provided for people to call and hear pre-recorded audio messages – and it is free.

Milestone reached in B’ville Referendum

The referendum will give the people of Bougainville the opportunity to express their opinion on the future political status of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as guaranteed in the 2001 Peace Agreement.

Following the Joint Supervisory Body’s (JSB) decision last week, polling for the referendum will start on 12th October 2019.

The JSB also endorsed the work of the Post-Referendum Planning Taskforce, which will meet again in the week of 4 March with UN support.

President Momis explains referendum

ABG President, Dr John Momis, made this statement during a recent special Parliamentary Sitting of the Bougainville House of Representatives.

“The world will be watching, and the actions of all of us in this House will be held to account. We must therefore ensure that we manage these expectations,” Momis said.

“The referendum is a milestone, but it will not lead to any immediate outcome. The day after the referendum the hard work of negotiation must begin,” Momis added.