Consultations to begin outside Bougainville for Independence constitution

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The Bougainville Constitutional Planning Commission (BCPC) has begun consultations with Bougainvilleans outside Bougainville.

The consultation is to gauge views and contribution of Bougainvilleans to draft an autochthonous or home grown constitution for an independent nation.

This follows the referendum held in 2019 which resulted in 97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans voting for independence from Papua New Guinea.

Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama, who is also the Chair of the Constitutional Planning Commission, said the Commission will ensure that Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville are given the chance to participate in developing Bougainville’s Independent Constitution.

“It is my intention that as widely as practicable, citizens of Bougainville within and outside of Bougainville be given the opportunity to be part of the decision making process on the establishment of our Independent Constitution,” Toroama said.

BCPC had completed the consultation with Bougainvilleans inside Bougainville in March this year and will be visiting nine selected provinces within the four regions of Papua New Guinea starting from the New Guinea Islands, Momase, Highlands and Southern Region this month.

Consultations in the New Guinea Islands region began over the long Easter weekend led by the Attorney General and Minister for Bougainville Independence Mission, who is also the Deputy Chairman of BCPC, Ezekiel Masatt.

Vice President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Patrick Nisira, accompanied by a team of commissioners and technical staff, also went.

NGI consultations will cover East and West New Britain provinces and Bougainvilleans in these provinces are invited to attend the consultations to contribute their thoughts towards the drafting of a new constitution.

Momase consultations will begin later this week at East Sepik Province and onto Morobe Province by next week.

President Toroama will be part of the consultations in Wewak, whilst Nisira and Attorney General Masatt will accompany the Commissioners to Morobe Province.

Highlands region consultation will follow soon after, covering Eastern and Western Highlands provinces, while Southern Region will also start next week in Western Province, National Capital District and Milne Bay.

SOURCE: LOOP PNG/PACNEWS