25 Oct 2004

Bougainville and PNG Government reach broad agreement on draft constitution

4:31 pm on 25 October 2004

Broad agreement has been reached on a draft constitution for Papua New Guinea's province of Bougainville, raising hopes of an election next year.

A joint statement by Inter-Government Relations Minister Sir Peter Barter, and Bougainville Governor John Momis, says a set of proposals have been prepared which open the way to the early finalisation of the draft constitution.

Fears had previously been expressed that key parts of the proposed constitution for an autonomous Bougainville would be in conflict with the national constitution and possibly derail progress on the issue.

But Sir Peter and Mr Momis say the proposals will be forwarded for consideration by Bougainville's Bipartisan National Committee and its constituent assembly, which will meet early next month.