Bougainville Referendum Commission

BRC happy with referendum preparations

BRC Commissioner and former National Research Institute (NRI) Director, Dr Thomas Webster, said so far the preparations are going well towards the referendum.

He admitted that few logistical issues will be ironed out and BRC is committed in making sure they deliver a successful referendum.

The referendum roll-out exercise must be completed before the issue of writs on August 12.

Dr Webster said given the circumstances and other challenges, the BRC is happy with the overall outcome of the roll update.

BRC chairman visits Bougainville

Ahern is accompanied by BRC Commissioners Dr Thomas Webster, George Manuhu, Patrick Nisira, Robert Igare, Ruby Mirinka and the Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato.

He will be visiting Arawa, Buin and Buka constituencies.

The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) is now progressing with the third phase of updating the Referendum Roll in Bougainville.

This exercise is part of the three-phase enrolment plan that BRC will be undertaking to update and finalise the roll in preparation for the upcoming Referendum.

BRC takes enrolment to remote PNG

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said it had identified large groups of Bougainvilleans up to 1,000 living and working at remote areas who have been unable to reach their provincial PNG Electoral Office, but were eligible to enrol.

The Commission has identified Lihir Island; Ramu, Madang; Ok Tedi Town and Porgera as the four largest communities it had the resources to reach.

“Bougainvilleans living in these areas, despite their remoteness, are strongly engaged in the referendum,” Claudio said.

Enrolment extended for those outside B’ville

Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, said high voter turnout and delays in delivering enrolment forms to the more remote provinces meant more time was needed to make sure every eligible Bougainvillean had the chance to enrol.

“We have been delighted by the response of Bougainvilleans, both in Bougainville and outside Bougainville, who have never enrolled to vote in an election before, now putting their name on the referendum roll,” Claudio said.

Overseas enrolment for B’villeans to go ahead

Face to face enrolment will be available in July in four locations: Honiara and Gizo, Solomon Islands, and Brisbane and Cairns, Australia. These are the main population centres for Bougainvilleans living overseas.

Commission Chair, Bertie Ahern, said the Commission had met on Friday to discuss current progress of enrolment and the strong desire of Bougainvilleans living overseas to have their say in the referendum.

Bville Referendum Roll being updated

This exercise is part of the three-phase enrolment plan that the BRC will be undertaking to update and finalise the roll in preparation for the upcoming Referendum.

The 2nd phase of updating the Referendum Roll in Bougainville began on the 3rd of June.

During this phase, ward recorders will be visiting each ward and community governments to update details of eligible voters in each village and household.

Referendum roadshow in B’ville

The purpose of the roadshow is for the BRC to update the people on the different activities that are being carried out in preparation for the upcoming Bougainville Referendum.

The roadshow in Buka will be held today at the Bel Isi Park in Buka town, to be followed by the Arawa event which will be held at Arawa town on Thursday, 30 May.

The roadshow in Buin will take place on Saturday morning, 01 June, at the Buin town market.

Potential deferral of B’ville referendum

The National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) have initially agreed to set a target date for June 15th, 2019.

However, the processes that will lead up to it are yet to be established by both the National Government and the ABG.

Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, Bertie Ahern, said there has to be a certainty of funding to fund the referendum and the Constitutional Regulations must be in place before progress is made.

BRC Commissioners in place

The Commission is composed of seven members:

Over K2m to back referendum commission

The first $500,000 (K1.2m) has already been made available through the United Nation Development Programme’s Bougainville Referendum Support Project.

The funding is intended to support the Commission to assist in the conduct of a credible referendum, as is the wish of both the Papua New Guinea and Autonomous Bougainville governments. It is part of the K120 million per year provided by Australia to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville through the Papua New Guinea Australia Partnership.