Bougainville. Papua New Guinea press review

During a speech marking the 45th Anniversary of Papua New Guinea (PNG) gaining independence, PNG Prime Minister Hon. James Marape said that his government was committed to bringing lasting peace and a political settlement in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) where the population voted overwhelmingly for independence in referendum 2019. [1]

However, the last of the Bougainville presidential votes have been counted. To date, the leading candidate on first preference count is former Bougainville Revolution Army commander Ishmael Toroama mustering 27,457. He is followed by former Papua New Guinea Minister for Bougainville Affairs Simon Dumarinu on 19,297. A total of 25 candidates participated in the ARB presidential race.
Earlier Mr. Toroama said that he can deliver the safe environment needed to encourage investors. In addition, Mr. Toroama will focus on the Bougainville Peace Agreement, and the emphasis for him would be on properly establishing the rule of law so the investment can be attracted and an economy developed. Ishmaiel Toroama also has launched a political party Bougainville People’s Alliance (BPA). It’s important to mark, that Mr. Toroama coming a distant second to the ARB President John Momis in 2015.

All constituencies for South Bougainville and Central Bougainville have declared House of Representatives Members. [2-5]

Ioro Constituency where the Panguna mine is located in Central Bougainville will be represented in the Bougainville House of Representatives by 29-year-old Divine Word University graduate Theonilla Roka Matbob as their representative for the next five years. Mrs Matbob is the first cousin of Bougainville’s first president, late Joseph Kabui. [6]

At the same time, Bougainville Affairs Minister Sir Puka Temu told Parliament that PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government were in close communication even after the referendum. According to Sir Puka, after the last joint supervisory body meeting on March 31, Apec Haus, the two governments agreed that further consultation would be postponed due to the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) elections. Now the elections have been held and the parties are waiting for the announcement of the final results. [7]

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