“ We are pleased to be able to inform the people of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville that the referendum on Bougainville’s long-term political future will be held on 17 October 2019”
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Hon. Peter O’Neill and President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Hon. Dr John Momis on Friday reaffirmed their joint commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Please Note : The writs will be issued on 16/8/19, with polling to take place between 12 and 17/10/2019
Reports and Photos : From Aloysius Laukai New Dawn
In the JSB Meeting Friday in Port Moresby, the two leaders acknowledged the importance of maintaining efforts to secure a lasting peace in Bougainville.
A critical outcome of the meeting was an agreement on the final date for the referendum to be held.
“We are pleased to be able to inform the people of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville that the referendum on Bougainville’s long-term political future will be held on 17 October 2019” the leaders said.
The meeting also considered important issues around peace and reconciliation and weapons disposal, with the two leaders agreeing that a national reconciliation ceremony will take place before the referendum is held.
Leaders also agreed that an independent expert will be appointed to advise on the formula for the Restoration and Development Grant, with the advice of the expert to be binding.
Leaders will meet again on 6 August 2019 ahead of the writs for the referendum being issued, to ensure that all necessary arrangements for the referendum are in place.
Part 2 : The Bougainville Referendum Commission on Friday recommended to the two governments of PNG and ABG to fast-track the work of the BRC by funding the BRC with funds totalling TWENTY MILLION KINA allocated by the National Government so that the preparations can be done quickly.
He said funds allocated by the ABG totalling FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND Kina was used up already in other preparatory work.
He said that the target date of June 15th cannot be met because of this shortfall.
The Chairman said that the Commission had met different stakeholders on Bougainville and they are all set for the conduct of the referendum.
The Chairman also noted that Peace reconciliations and weapons disposals ceremonies have been ongoing on Bougainville and he was happy with how Bougainville was preparing for the referendum.
He said that the Referendum must be done properly so that the outcome can be credible and bring lasting peace on Bougainville. Meanwhile the Prime Minister told the JSB funds totalling TEN MILLION KINA has been transferred to the Bougainville Referendum Trust account and the remaining Ten Million kina will be paid next week.