Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC)

BRC ramps up awareness for voter registration

Starting last week, people living in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on the Digicel network are receiving short SMS messages to their phone with awareness and updates about the referendum process – BRC Tok Save.

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said as the Commission gains more staffing and resources, it has been able to boost much-needed awareness across face to face, voter materials, website, media, Facebook, and now mobile phone.

Special enrolment arrangements for AROB

From today (Friday) until Sunday, the Commission will have special enrolment stations in the three regional centres: Buka, Arawa and Buin town, and has directed village ward recorders to locate themselves in one central place in each Ward.

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said the Commission has heard people’s concerns regarding late enrolments, especially those working in town.

“We understand everyone’s desire to take part in the referendum and we’ve been overwhelmed by enrolments so far – so thank you to everyone involved,” Claudio said.

Confirmed procedures for eligible voters: BRC

This is according to the laws governing the referendum. The Bougainville Referendum Commission assured people that the referendum follows the rules and criteria set down by law and by both governments.

“The BRC is acting as a neutral ‘umpire’ to ensure the referendum is conducted freely and fairly,” Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio said.

BRC thanks National Government, ABG for referendum funding

Mauricio Claudio confirmed that the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) has received further funds last week.

“In the last week the BRC received K10 million from the National Government in our account and a further K1.5 million has been made available by the ABG. These funds are just in time to support the BRC’s efforts to enrol all eligible Bougainvilleans to vote at the referendum.”

In 2019 the BRC has received K18.7 million from National Government and K2 million from ABG towards their revised K27.8 million referendum budget.

K20m released for B’ville referendum: Finance

In a statement, Finance Minister Richard Maru said: “The first K10 million of the budget funds were transferred in two lots of K5m in February and April and the second and final K10m was transferred on 5 June 2019.

“Funds are now available to support the referendum exercise and we stand ready to support the BRC conduct the referendum.

“The K20m in the budget for the Bougainville Referendum Commission has now been fully disbursed to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to carry the referendum exercise as committed by the National Government of Papua New Guinea.”

Time is of the essence!

Time is of the essence as the people of Bougainville have only six months left before they go to the polls on October 12th.

Though the Government has pledged K30 million to BRC – which was to be paid in three tranches – the Commission has only received K8.7 million of the funding.

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said April 11th was the deadline for the second tranche. The third K10 million is expected no later than May 11th.

B’ville voter roll preps underway

In doing so, the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) has partnered with Autonomous Bougainville Government’s Department of Community Government to ensure all eligible Bougainvilleans were registered to vote in the referendum.

“It is our priority that all eligible electors are included on the referendum voter roll,” said co-chair of Bougainville Referendum Commission Transitional Committee (BRC-TC) and Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu.