Bougainvilleans have been urged to observe the silence period, which begins at midnight tonight until the start of polling on Saturday 23 November.
This follows the announcement from the Bougainville Referendum Commission of the silence period which marks the end of campaigning and canvassing for votes.
President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Grand Chief Dr John Momis, called on Bougainvilleans to use this silence period as a time to reflect and offer this important process in prayer.
“I call on all Bougainvilleans to unite in prayer during this silence period. May we pray together and offer this important process and ask for divine guidance from God, that we may be able to vote with a clear conscience for the best future political status for Bougainville,” he said.
“We have come a long way in our journey for self-determination. It has been a long and hard journey, and we now have the opportunity to create something new for Bougainville.”
Meanwhile, the BRC’s Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio explained that this period of silence before polling is compliant with international good practice and allows for people to be free of any campaigning and to consider the choices to be made in the referendum.
He further said that the silence period does not limit broadcast media from reporting on the referendum, or the BRC from continuing to provide information and updates to the voting public.
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