Bougainville Referendum Commission

Applications for postal voting open

Acting Chief Referendum Officer Desmond Tsianai said postal voting is safe and secure and the BRC will note on the roll that a voter has been issued a postal vote.

Speaking in Buka, Acting Chief Referendum Officer Desmond Tsianai said the BRC is committed to ensuring full access to voting for all eligible voters through the SMS Roll Check and now the Postal Voting services.

Tsianai said Under the Organic Law, postal voting provides the flexibility for Bougainvilleans who may otherwise miss out on being able to vote.

BRC chair to receive Referendum Writ

The Writ marks the end of enrolment and formalises the dates for polling (23 November to 7 December). It is to be returned to the Governor-General by 20 December with the results.

On Wednesday, Ahern travelled with all Commissioners to Buka to brief the Bougainville House of Representatives before the official referendum process commences.

“It’s a great honour and a great accomplishment of Bougainville and both governments to reach this step, the eve of the Bougainville referendum,” Ahern said.

Check the roll, do not miss out!

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said while some 202,000 have enrolled and are now checking the roll or using the SMS roll check service to confirm they are enrolled, some have not.

“We know that some people, even senior leaders, have not gotten themselves enrolled,” Claudio said.

“We don't want one person to miss out. Some people are waiting in their houses or offices for us to knock on their door. This will not happen. It is a much shorter public display of the roll in central locations by Ward Recorders where you need to go and check.

BRC in Atolls

The trip to the Tasman and Mortlock Atolls had been frustrated for weeks by bad weather and a lack of a suitably sized boat to safely make the rough crossing to the two remote communities.

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said he was delighted to have finally secured a private charter yacht, and that the weather had slightly improved.

Application open for interest group, scrutineers

The Organic Law[1] defines an Interested Party as the Government of Papua New Guinea, the Autonomous Bougainville Government and Recognised Interest Groups. Only these Interested Parties can nominate scrutineers for the Bougainville Referendum.

Nearly 1,000 officers paid in full: BRC

The August 27th briefing in Buka for Northern Region officers marked the last leg of engagement with all AROs, who are the administrative staff responsible for planning and administering referendum field operations.

In his opening remarks, Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio thanked all officials, acknowledging the honour to be involved in such an historic event.

Upbeat report on referendum preparations

Commissioner Patrick Nisira and Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, told Members that the Commission was on track to deliver polling, commencing 23 November, and called on their assistance to deliver clear and simple messages about the upcoming public display of the Preliminary Roll.

Face-to-face enrolment complete

It is now data processing to prepare the preliminary referendum roll for public display in September.

In six centres across Bougainville, teams of local data processing officers are entering information from the completed and checked enrolment forms and annotated working rolls to prepare the Preliminary Referendum Roll.

Extra time to produce better roll

“We will use these precious few weeks wisely, and we ask for public support to make this Referendum Roll as inclusive as possible and one that people can trust,” Ahern said.

On August 2nd, the two governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville formally announced a six-week extension to create a more credible referendum roll, and encouraged Bougainvilleans to use the time to make sure they were enrolled. The revised dates are as follows:

• 27 September: Issue of Writs

• 23 November: Polling begins

Groups invited to observe referendum

Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio said observer groups provide a critical role in the democratic process by observing whether the conduct of polling and counting is free and fair according to international standards.

“We encourage the participation of local, national and international groups in the referendum, to observe the process, and provide their independent report of polling and counting so that the referendum process is seen as a credible one by all involved,” Claudio said.