20 Apr 2010

Semoso seeks Bougainville open seat to broaden women's representation

12:51 pm on 20 April 2010

A woman politician in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says she has chosen to run in an open seat in next month's elections to allow more women to enter parliament.

Francesca Semoso was elected in 2005 in one of the three seats reserved for women and became the deputy speaker of parliament.

In this May's second elections for the autonomous government Ms Semoso is competing in the Tsitalato electorate on Buka Island and she says standing aside was a commitment she made five years ago.

"The biggest reason as to why I have actually made way in letting other candidates run for the reserve seat, and I running with the men in the open seat, is to see more women getting elected into the ABG parliament."

Francesca Semoso says she is quite confident she can win the seat.

Another of the successful women candidates in 2005, Madeleine Toroansi, is contesting the presidency of the autonomous Bougainville Government, while the third, Laura Ampa, has chosen to stand again in the Women's South Electorate.