Activities eyed as referendum date gets near


THE Bougainville Referendum Commission transitional committee has agreed to a number of activities in the build-up to the referendum.
The committee is made up of national and Bougainville electoral commissioners, and the national and ABG chief secretaries.
“Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the two governments have agreed that the commission will be headed by a highly regarded and well-qualified international person,” Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu said.
“This will establish the complete independence of the commission. However, while that person is being selected, the committee will be laying out the initial groundwork.
“With the target date for referendum just 18 months away, there are many things that must happen to ensure a credible and peaceful referendum process in Bougainville.”
The committee meeting in Port Moresby was attended by PNG Deputy Chief Secretary John Punde and ABG Mining Secretary Shadrach Himata, representing the ABG chief secretary.
The committee agreed to create four committees to help with the referendum planning and the establishment of the BRC secretariat.
These committees may draw upon staff from the PNG Electoral Commission, Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner,
and the national and Bougainville public services for support.