Sir Puka urges MPs to understand the Referendum Process
Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu has urged all Members of Parliament to understand the referendum process on Bougainville, while presenting a copy of the Joint Referendum key massages booklet to Parliament early this month.
The Referendum, which is prescribed in the Constitution and the Organic Law on Peace Building, will be held in October 2019, and is the first step to determining a political settlement for the Region.
Sir Puka Temu outlined the contents of the awareness booklet which he said, focuses on the history of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the current peace process and other awareness activities.
The Minister urged Members to play an important role in this process as both the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the Constitution are clear that the final decision on whatever form Bougainville’s long-term political future will take, will rest with the National Parliament.
“This will of course be preceded by a very respectful and detailed consultation process, where key issues and considerations, such as the referendum outcome and a range of other factors, will be taken into account,’’ Sir Puka said.
“As Minister for Bougainville Affairs, I encourage each of you to read this important document and familiarize yourself with the process. Collectively all of us have a role to play, and it is incumbent upon each one of us to ensure a lasting peace on Bougainville.”