Toroama plans shake-up

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By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
BOUGAINVILLE President-elect Ishmael Toroama is expected to be sworn in tomorrow in Buka before he forms a caretaker government and set in motion his plans for a “corruption-free” administration.
The 51-year-old former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander was declared the winner on 51,317 votes after the 23rd elimination on Tuesday night, beating former Central Bougainville MP Simon Dumarinu who had 33,088 votes.
“I am honoured to get this seat. I salute our good Lord for making things happen,” he told The National from Buka yesterday.
“It is my great honour to serve my people of Bougainville,”
The writs of the 2020 Bougainville election are expected to be returned to the Speaker Simon Pentanu in the House of Representatives today, marking the end of the election, and the end of the previous administration.
Toroama will then pick a male and a female elected member to be part of his caretaker government.
They will be sworn in by Justice Sir Kina Bona, the resident judge in Buka tomorrow.
The caretaker government is expected to run the affairs of the Autonomous Bougainville Government for one week until all the members of the House of Representatives are sworn in.
Toroama said he would consult the Ombudsman Commission on his choices for the caretaker government “otherwise I will get somebody that is implicated in a case”.
“I want to seek legal views on who is part of the caretaker government.
“I want to feel comfortable with the one who will be my vice-president and members of the government,” he said.
His next step is to see an internal audit conducted on the government.
“I will ask the administration to assist with the audit.
“I will speak to the Ombudsman Commission as part of the internal audit, to uproot corruption.
“There needs to be accountability and transparency in the internal and external running of the Government and its systems.”
His next plan is to strengthen law enforcement agencies and how they are equipped.
“The biggest thought that I have is to empower Bougainville police, the enforcing of law agencies in Bougainville,” he said.
“We have seen criminal cases rising in the region and one of my campaign points was to empower and improve the Bougainville police.
“Improving the capabilities of the police will be one of the first things I will do.”
He also wants to deliver services to the people.
Toroama thanked the people of Bougainville for trusting his capabilities and electing him.

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