Bougainville. Papua New Guinea press review

Martin Miriori, the older brother of the first President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB), Joseph Kabui, wants the Panguna mine opened as soon as possible. Mr. Miriori was secretary of the Bougainville interim government during the crisis, later a diplomat and a businessman. Currently, he entered the crowded race for ARB President in the August elections 2020. According to Mr. Miriori, « Panguna is the option that we have for Bougainville to be able to achieve its fiscal self-reliance […] Panguna will fund development but first, we have to achieve our political independence». Mr. Miriori ran for president in 2010. However, ARB President John Momis President John Momis, who has been in power since 2010, will not be able to present his candidacy for a third consecutive term. Currently, Bougainville law limits the term of office of the ARB President to two terms of five years. [1]

However, 23 candidates are ready to compete for the presidency, which, according to Bougainville MP Francesca Semoso, is too many. According to F. Somoso, she would rather there were just five or six candidates. «Whoever becomes the president has to know the real Bougainville situation, to understand what the politics is all about, what the people are thinking, » she said. But one of the aspirants, former president James Tanis, said he had no problem with the numbers lining up: «It is a democratic right that many people compete and give the opportunity to the people to choose from amongst us the president they want to choose, » he said. [2] As marked the candidate, if he was successful he would make use of Mr. Momis’s talents in the negotiations over the result of last year’s referendum on independence from PNG. [3]

It should be noted that formal nominations won’t open until after the election writs are issued on 17 June 2020. The election is now set to begin in August 2020.

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