1 Feb 2005

Bougainville to go to the polls from May 20th to elect first autonomous government

7:44 pm on 1 February 2005

The election of an autonomous government for the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is to begin on May 20th and continue until early June.

The island's leaders agreed on the date last week.

The President of the People's Congress Joseph Kabui says work still needs to be done to determine boundaries and compile electoral rolls, but more funding, due this week, will speed that process.

He is confident that there is enough time to complete the work before the election writs are issued in late April.

"Definitely there is enough time. There's plenty of time. We have been given the assurance by our officers that they are all ready. Things are all ready to roll off."

Joseph Kabui says a road block stopping access to South Bougainville remains a concern.

He says the people stopping traffic are motivated, in part, with promises of wealth from notorious pyramid scheme operator, Noah Musingku.