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Bougainville President Momis and Sir Puka to cast their votes on home soil
2:44 pm GMT+12, 20/11/2019, Papua New Guinea

Bougainville President John Momis and Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Puka Temu will be escorted by traditional singsing groups and a fanfare to cast the first referendum vote on Saturday at Bel Isi Park.
 
This will officially mark the start of the historical vote that the 300,000-plus Bougainville have been waiting for.

Local Member for Tsitalato Fidelis Semoso announced that his office, the Office of the Member for Tsitalato and the two community governments, Tsitalato Rural and Tsitalato Urban will have the honour and privilege of escorting President Momis on the occasion of his casting of his referendum vote at Bel Isi park on Saturday, 23 November, at 7am Bougainville Standard Time, 8am PNG time.
 
“Please join my people and I in according this kwila of PNG and Bougainville politics the honor and respect he deserves by joining the march,” Semoso said.
 
A big ceremony is now being planned where Member for North Bougainville William Nakin and business houses on Buka Island will come together, escort Mr Momis and Sir Puka as they march to the polling booth to cast their votes officially.
 
Semoso said that more than 200 Bougainville flags have been ordered and will be hoisted on Saturday morning to officially mark a historical moment for the once-torn Bougainville Island as they march to cast their votes starting on Saturday, a gesture that will result in the fate of the island – whether they vote greater autonomy or Independence and become the newest nation in the world.
 
This week, more than 600 polling officials and about 250 observers will take on their positions throughout the Island region including outside of PNG and overseas, specifically in Solomon Islands, Brisbane and Cairns to kick start the polling program. There is already a programme in place for polling schedules and voting to commence on Central, South and North Bougainville including Atolls, and overseas.
 
A national government team is also expected to be on the ground for the official kick off of the vote.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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