Autonomous Region of Bougainville

North B’ville Open By-election Writ received

The election was held to fill a critical seat in the region's parliamentary representation. Francesca Semoso, a candidate from the Pangu Party, emerged as the winner with 13,270 votes. Her victory was officially declared on October 29, 2023, in Buka. This marks a momentous occasion in the region's political landscape.

PM Marape commends Semoso’s victory

He said the election of Ms Semoso as North Bougainville MP is a resounding testament to PANGU’s commitment to promoting women's leadership in Papua New Guinea.

Her victory came having secured an impressive 13,270 votes, surpassing her 16 competitors.

This historic win further bolsters PANGU Pati's representation, increasing the party's count to 54 MPs following their triumph with 39 seats in the 2022 National General Election.

 “I congratulate Ms Semoso on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, PANGU Pati, and my family. I also thank all other candidates.

Semoso declared North B’ville MP

Semoso who contested the seat under the Pangu Pati banner polled 14, 851 votes ahead of Lauta Atoi with 13, 482. She was declared on Sunday 29th October.

Semoso will be the third woman member of the National Parliament after she won the North Bougainville open seat in a by-election.

The MP-elect also becomes the first woman from Bougainville to win a seat in PNG's national parliament.

The by-election followed the sudden death of William Nakin, who had retained the seat but died during the vote count last year.

B’ville to benefit from spin-off benefits

This follows after a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was executed last Friday between Bou & Ko Limited, a company collectively owned by the Korean investors and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) in collaboration with a local Bougainville Destiny Helpers Foundation (BDHF), who is mandated by ABG in the development and operation of the Bougainville Economic Corridor Project under the Go-PNG’s PPPP.

Relief supplies for Mt Bagana survivors

Its second and third eruptions occurred on the 15th and 17th of July respectively, affecting the local level government areas of Torokina, Wakunai and Kunua, in the respective districts of South, Central and North Bougainville.

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has estimated that the eruption has affected 8,111 people, with heavy ashfall polluting drinking water sources, destroying food gardens and closing schools.

Relief supply exercise launched

The province over the weekend witnessed the event in Tropicana Vunapope beach front in Kokopo where important delegates representing the country the minister for Defense Win Daki, Commander PNG Defense Force Brigadier Goina, Director National Disaster Center Lusette Mana, Police Commissioner David Manning, Bougainville Affairs Minister Manaseh Makiba, Correctional Service Commissioner and delegates from AROB representing the president led by Peter Tsimalili Jr Bougainville Regional Member and Minister for Internal Security were in the province to witness the event.

Fallen comrades remembered

May 17 is a gazetted public holiday for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The date was originally the date that the late revolutionary leader Francis Ona declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence for Bougainville.

It has since become Bougainville’s Remembrance Day.

In Arawa Town, Central Bougainville, former commanders of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army gathered to remember and pay tribute to their fallen comrades and those that lost their lives during the 10-year civil war on Bougainville.

Musicians collaborate on new track

The song, Wan Solwara (One Ocean), was created by Adrian Tjupurru Fabila and his son Jake in collaboration with Michael Dave, Ruth Maison, Walter Kerevio, Jolista Masu, Robertha Yansi, and Milton Garea during a visit to Bougainville in September 2022.

Richard Mogu and local sound engineer Melchior Wagum mixed Wan Solwara in Buka, while Wantok Musik sound engineers in Australia handled the mastering.

The project showcases the power of cultural exchange in fostering connections between people and supports Australia's Indigenous diplomacy.

Coconut Husk Innovation in Bougainville

His family and community are involved in the production process and is passionate about the project after discovering the potential of coconut husk waste. 

Earlier this year, Mr. Lahis registered his company, Gelasabe Corporate Society, with IPA.

Lahis explains that the coconut husks are manually processed with bush knives, canvas for drying the chopped husks, and other vital tools. The husks are then packed into fine grains, and 12 bags weighing 20kg each are produced and is currently in contact with a buyer for the products.

Improving education access in Bougainville

The program is an eight-year investment by the Australian Government, aimed at improving teaching and learning practices in Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

The launch of PIE was celebrated by students, teachers, parents, and community members at Hahela Elementary School, located outside of Buka Town.