PNG PM Marape to address Parliament, nation on Bougainville issue


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape will make a ministerial statement in Parliament on Wednesday to update the nation on the results of the Wabag and Kokopo meetings on Bougainville.

The PNG and Bougainville governments have convened escalated Joint Supervisory Body meetings and joint consultation meetings to address the priority and sanctity of these issues.

Marape said there can be no greater issue facing the government or facing the country when one part of the country decides or has decided to break away.

“This is an important issue, in fact, I rank it the greatest challenge of all over COVID-19 and over economy and any other challenges we have today,” he said.

“The sanctity of union in our country is important.

“Let me assure Parliament and the people of this country, next week, this time (Wednesday), I will be delivering a parliamentary statement on what has transpired in as far as our discussions in Wabag, following on from our discussions that we have held in Kokopo.

“This is not an easy task, I must clear the country first as I will also clear legal pathways for necessary amendments to take place.

“The full authority of Parliament will decide the future authority of Bougainville in respect to the choice they made.

“So this Parliament has the final say – I will give a parliamentary speech on this on Wednesday.

“I made a statement that I was receiving the results as the MP for Tari and not Prime Minister of this country, meaning that Parliament has the final say and not one MP or any one minister for that matter.

We will now set up our five-year programme – after they vote, there will be consultations on both sides,” he said.