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Bougainvilleans applauded for keeping peace
6:29 pm GMT+12, 19/03/2019, Papua New Guinea

The people of Bougainville have been praised for upholding peace and unity as the region closes in on the vote for referendum in October this year.
 
Autonomous Bougainville Government Department of Peace and Autonomy Implementation Secretary, Dennis Kuiai, while updating the region on the progress on work readiness towards the referendum, said Bougainvilleans must be commended for upholding the true meaning of peace even though in times of challenges faced in the region.
 
Kuiai said since 2005 inauguration of ABG, whatever the challenges faced since then, the people of Bougainville have continued to maintain peace, unity, working on weapons disposal and most importantly continue the good work and supporting our government.
 
Kuiai said this shows that the people of Bougainville want a good, prosperous and peaceful outcome for the future generation to enjoy.
 
He said the government of ABG and National Government have set the actual date for the vote for referendum on 12 October 2019, while the issue of writs will be on 17 August 2019.
 
This was agreed on by the three parties in the ABG, National Government and Bougainville Referendum Commission after much consultation during the recent Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Port Moresby early this year.
 
Kuiai highlighted that both governments are still doing their best with ABG emphasising the need to remove guns in the constituencies.
 
However, the BRC’s important role to update the common roll is still pending because of financial constraint.

Kuiai told the people of Bougainville that the date now will not change unless there’s a big disaster, however, the actual work on what will happen is for the BRC to tell the people of Bougainville.
 
“People who will vote must really know what greater autonomy is and what independence is. The other thing BRC must do now is to make sure roll update is taken care of and people are enrolled and to set up their secretariat,” Kuiai said.
 
“PNG now must call in the international observers and see all the progress of the referendum process such as roll update and so on. Government must invite also the Pacific Regional Security Support to the region.
 
“There are talks already underway with the both governments and the New Zealand government.
 
“To make sure referendum to follow international standard of democracy and also to start planning post referendum. When referendum ends, Chief Referendum Officer reveals the result and both governments consult and handed over to the parliament of PNG to do ratification,” Kuiai added.
 
“The result we get from vote is not final, will go through consultation with ABG and PNG government leadership and then the agreement forwarded to the national government to make decision on that.”
 
Kuiai said the parties to the peace process on Bougainville have followed the Melanesian way of solving problems and after referendum it will come down to the Melanesian way of us getting over these process in a timely and peace manner.” .
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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