21 Nov 2008

Bougainville candidate Peniai sees new priorities as polls loom in PNG province

2:15 pm on 21 November 2008

A candidate for the presidency of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says the previous government's priorities were wrong.

Nick Peniai is one of 14 men campaigning for the office made vacant when Joseph Kabui died in June.

He has resigned as Speaker after, he says, the people encouraged him to run and try and change the government's emphasis on economic development.

Mr Peniai says such development will not work until there is full reconciliation among the factions on Bougainville and the remaining guns are removed from the community.

He says his main aim is the formation of a reconciliatory government as promised to the people in the Lincoln Peace Agreement ten years ago.

"The government that would ensure that all Bougainville reconciles, will address the issue of peace, reconciliation and weapons disposal all over again. So that all remaining guns can be returned. And my Government must ensure that we come up with a comprehensive peace reconciliation policy."

Nick Peniai