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Momis: Bougainvilleans must be ready for referendum process

ABG President Hon. Chief Dr John Momis, today called on all members of the Bougainville House of Representatives to ensure all Bougainvilleans are ready for the upcoming vote.

In his statement to parliament this morning, President Momis said Bougainville has a come a long way in its political journey and the issue of the referendum writ this week, will mark the beginning of this historical process for Bougainville.

“As of the date of the issue of writ, I put the responsibility on each member of this House, to ensure all our people are educated and are well prepared for the next step in this process – and that is the actual voting,” he said.

The President also briefed the House on the outcomes of the recent Joint Supervisory Body meeting held earlier this month in Buka, particularly noting the joint endorsement of the final dates for the issue of writ and polling which now are set to take place on September 27th and November 23rd respectively.

President Momis also highlighted the post referendum transition period, saying that this period will be most critical to the conclusion and finalization Bougainville’s peace process.

“The Joint Ministerial Taskforce on Post-Referendum has progressed with planning to prepare both governments for the post-referendum period.”

The Taskforce is being led by ABG Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Hon. Albert Punghau and National Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu. The focus of the Taskforce is to ensure that the results of the referendum are accepted peacefully and to develop a joint programme to manage the situation after the vote, including the on-going relationship between the two governments.

Meanwhile, plans are also underway to establish a Secretariat to support the work of the Joint Ministerial Taskforce, and to identify facilitators or moderators to assist both governments during the consultations and negotiations.

“This would include a national and international moderator and would need to be a highly respected person with some prior knowledge of Bougainville’s history.”

“The consultations and negotiations will determine the final outcome of the process, so we must all be ready and work towards the best possible outcome for Bougainville through the negotiations.”

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