John Momis, who is one of five contenders for president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, says his aim is to consolidate a sense of unity in the province.
Mr Momis resigned from the national parliament this week after first being elected 33 years ago so he could enter the presidential race.
He will compete against Joseph Kabui, from the People's Congress; James Tanis, who is the deputy of the Congress; Joel Banam, the chairman of the Leitana Council of Elders and Bartholomew Kigina from South Bougainville.
Mr Momis says he would like to continue an awareness programme aimed at instilling a sense of commitment to the province.
And he says it will be important to have a strategy for engaging people, especially the young, to ensure they are not left out of the development in the province.
"You know, engage them meaningfully so they don't feel marginalised, they don't feel that they are just a bunch of onlookers. We want to ensure that there are opportunities for people to be involved in the process of government and particularly in the process of socio-economic development."