Bertie Ahern

We are ready: BRC

The Issue of the Referendum Writ:

- Closes new enrolments

- Establishes polling from 23 November until 7 December

- Sets 20 December as the latest date to return of the Writ with:

  • No. of votes for greater autonomy
  • No. of votes for independence
  • No. of informal ballot papers

There will be no declaration of who won or lost, there is no voter threshold in the laws to achieve.

BRC Chair, Bertie Ahern, said: “It is happening, we are ready.

BRC chair to receive Referendum Writ

The Writ marks the end of enrolment and formalises the dates for polling (23 November to 7 December). It is to be returned to the Governor-General by 20 December with the results.

On Wednesday, Ahern travelled with all Commissioners to Buka to brief the Bougainville House of Representatives before the official referendum process commences.

“It’s a great honour and a great accomplishment of Bougainville and both governments to reach this step, the eve of the Bougainville referendum,” Ahern said.

Extra time to produce better roll

“We will use these precious few weeks wisely, and we ask for public support to make this Referendum Roll as inclusive as possible and one that people can trust,” Ahern said.

On August 2nd, the two governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville formally announced a six-week extension to create a more credible referendum roll, and encouraged Bougainvilleans to use the time to make sure they were enrolled. The revised dates are as follows:

• 27 September: Issue of Writs

• 23 November: Polling begins

BRC chairman visits Bougainville

Ahern is accompanied by BRC Commissioners Dr Thomas Webster, George Manuhu, Patrick Nisira, Robert Igare, Ruby Mirinka and the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

He will be visiting Arawa, Buin and Buka constituencies.

The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) is now progressing with the third phase of updating the Referendum Roll in Bougainville.

This exercise is part of the three-phase enrolment plan that BRC will be undertaking to update and finalise the roll in preparation for the upcoming Referendum.

Potential deferral of B’ville referendum

The National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) have initially agreed to set a target date for June 15th, 2019.

However, the processes that will lead up to it are yet to be established by both the National Government and the ABG.

Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, Bertie Ahern, said there has to be a certainty of funding to fund the referendum and the Constitutional Regulations must be in place before progress is made.

EU applauds Ahern on BRC stint

Ahern was invited to Chair the BRC by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and the President of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Dr John Momis. 

In a statement, the EU said: “He visited Papua New Guinea and Bougainville in October, when he met with senior officials and international partners including the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, Korea, and Fiji and chaired a meeting of the Referendum Commission’s full membership on 15 October.