President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Grand Chief Dr John Momis has congratulated the people of the Bougainville for a successful outcome of the Bougainville Referendum.
The results of the Bougainville Referendum were announced yesterday by the Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission and saw an overpowering 97% vote for independence.
Out of 181, 067 total ballots counted, 176,928 voted for independence, while 3,043 voted in favor of greater autonomy.
President Momis in his remarks said that this successful and peaceful outcome sets a good standard for Bougainville.
He described it as a big achievement in PNG’s history and thanked the BRC Chair, the six Commissioners, and all polling officials, the police and the general public for working together to maintain peace throughout the entire process.
President Momis said that Bougainvilleans have spoken clearly of what their intentions are for a future Bougainville, and they have done so with a proud spirit.
“I think the current success of the referendum has clearly demonstrated that the people of Bougainville by this successful outcome now feel that they are psychologically liberated,” Momis said.
President Momis also thanked the leadership of PNG Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, whom he described as a humble and honest leader who is prepared to hear and listen to the people.
“We are all encouraged, we are full of expectations and hope and we know if we collaborate and work together, the outcome will be good, beneficial and mutually acceptable and more importantly it will bring lasting peace,” Momis said.
The referendum results will go through a consultation and negotiation process between the government of Bougainville and PNG, before the National Parliament makes a decision or ratifies the final negotiated outcome.
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