Bougainville Affairs Minister Manasseh Makiba says the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution allows for Parliament to make a decision on the 2019 Bougainville referendum results.

Makiba said the recommendation for the vote to be decided by a two thirds absolute majority because the referendum vote by parliament was a Constitutional issue which has the potential for amendments to be made to the Constitution, and is an issue of sovereignty therefore, the majority must be the same as that required for constitutional amendments.

“It is an ongoing process and it was just a recommendation to parliament,” he said.

“It is still the prerogative of the parliament to make its decision as to the appropriate voting majority.

“Any resolution by the respective clerks of parliament with respect to the voting majority is not binding.
“Indeed, the clerks have overstepped their authority.

“They cannot decide for parliament.”

Makiba denied claims that the National Government was putting up roadblocks.

“The Government has been very supportive and committed in implementing the provisions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution,” he said.

“The Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution are clear and explicit in respect of this matter.

“Everybody can read it and understand it clearly as it is.

“Leaders must refrain from misleading people with wrong information.

“The people must hear the correct information and the process and rule of law must be respected, followed, and upheld at all times.

“If certain leaders are not happy with the ratification process proposed to the Parliament to debate and adopt by way of Sessional Order.

“They have the option to go to the Supreme Court to get interpretation on the ratification process,” he said.