17 Mar 2005

Bougainville agrees to allow observers in for May election

5:03 pm on 17 March 2005

Leaders on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville have decided to allow 10 international observers to monitor the May elections for an autonomous government.

Organisations that have expressed interest in providing observers include the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the European Union as well as Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

In a meeting yesterday, the Interim Joint Supervisory Body agreed to ask the National Executive Council to issue official invitations.

The directives for the observers also include acting as an independent source of assurance and validation that the election meets the principle of good governance of being free, fair and democratic.

The observers will also be required to provide a report with an recommendations for improving the electoral system, consistent with the objectives of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.