18 May 2005

Bougainville administration confident election will be successful

5:41 pm on 18 May 2005

Election officials and international observers have begun travelling to polling stations around the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville for the poll due to start on Friday.

130,000 voters will vote for a 40-member assembly that will grant the province sweeping powers of autonomy.

The administrator, Peter Tsiamalili, says the international observers, brought in at the request of the interim provincial government, were briefed before travelling to their designated positions around the province.

He says all the preparations for the poll are on schedule.

"There are a few road blocks up at Buin and out at Siwai, but we are trying to work with the authorities to ensure that the election is not frustrated by any individual and groups. You know, there is no 100 percent guarantee that everything will work out well, but we are very confident that the election will be very successful on Bougainville and will start off on Friday this week."

Peter Tsiamalili