“ The independence of the BRC does not mean the commission works alone of the two governments.
“The two governments will continue to play a crucial role on agreeing on the framework on important matters as the options available in the referendum, security and funding issues,”
The ABG’s Vice President and Minister for Referendum Patrick Nisira said the signing of the agreement between the two governments signified an important step forward : The Bougainville Referendum Commission needs approximately K20 million for it to begin its operations.
Pic Caption: (L-R) ABG Electoral Commissioner George Manu, PNG Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato sign the agreement while ABG Chief Secretary Joseph Nobetau and PNG Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari look on
The Autonomous Bougainville Government continues to make headway in the lead up to the Referendum with the creation of the Bougainville Referendum Commission.
The signing of the agreement between the ABG and GoPNG happened on January 24, 2017 in Port Moresby.
The ABG Delegation was led by the Vice President and Minister for Referendum, Hon. Patrick Nisira and the Chief Secretary, Joseph Nobetau whilst the the GoPNG Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari and the PNG Electoral Commissioner, all of Bougainville’s National MP’s were present with the exception of Louta Atoi.
The GoPNG Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari said that the BRC remains a priority for the National Government so funding for the entity will be sourced to cater for the BRC to begin its operations.
The formation of the BRC as an independent and impartial entity was agreed upon by the National Executive Council, the Bougainville Executive Council and the Attorney General.
As per the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea Section, 340 (1(a)) that provides for the PNG Electoral Commission and the Bougainville Electoral Commission will be jointly responsible for the conduct of the referendum.
The GoPNG, ABG, PNG Electoral Commission and the Bougainville Electoral Commission have entered into an agreement which provides for the implementation of the joint responsibility through the establishment of an independent agency, the Bougainville Referendum Commission, which will carry out the referendum on Bougainville.
The second document to be signed is the Charter that will enable the BRC to operate as an independent inter-government agency that will supervise the referendum.
The Charter will be signed by the Governor General at a later date to allow for the BRC to become operational.