Day one of polling for the Bougainville Referendum kicked off today on a highly peaceful note.
In Buka this morning, people turned up in numbers, dressed in their Bougainville attire with the Bougainville flag flying high as they waited for the polling to officially open.
The ABG President Grand Chief Dr John Momis, was given the honor to be the first to vote at the polling station at Bel Isi Park. This was witnessed by ABG Members and Ministers, including the National Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu.
President Momis when asked how he felt after casting his vote said, “I hope my vote contributes to the collective effort of the people of Bougainville to achieve the objective of this long process which has been a joint effort between the National Government and the government of Bougainville to achieve a good negotiated outcome.”
In Arawa, key veteran leaders, Chris Uma and Ishmael Toroama, were also the first to cast their votes today.
The BRC’s Chief Referendum Officer in a media briefing today, confirmed peaceful polling with successful voter turnout in North, Central and South Bougainville.
Polling teams for Nissan, Tasman and Mortlock Islands have also departed Buka today, while teams for Carterets and Nuguria depart tomorrow Sunday November 24. Polling in those locations will begin next week.
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