Bougainville leader calls for unified choice in referendum

Bougainville leader calls for unified choice in referendum

Bougainvilleans have been urged to present a unified front when they vote in the referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea in October.

Bougainville referendum roadshow meets with Me'ekamui. This group includes President John Momis and the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Gianluca Rampolla

Bougainville referendum roadshow meets with Me’ekamui. This group includes President John Momis and the UN Resident Co-ordinator, Gianluca Rampolla Photo: supplied

The president of the autonomous PNG region made the call during a week long roadshow promoting the referendum.

John Momis told Bougainvilleans a result representing a unified choice gives Bougainville’s leaders the power to negotiate with the national government.

He also reminded people the vote would still have to be ratified by the national parliament as stipulated in the Peace Agreement.

He says, if it fails to ratify, there’s still an option for a negotiated outcome in which both governments collaborate to get the best outcome for Bougainville people.

Mr Momis says now is the time for them to exercise their right to self-determination and forge a new future for the generations to come.

He says a credible referendum outcome is needed to ensure permanent peace on Bougainville.

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