9 Jun 2010

Old Bougainville guard looks to future

1:00 pm on 9 June 2010

A trio of politicians who first came to prominence in the 1970s have won seats in the elections for the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, but the new President is promising they'll be looking forward, not back.

John Momis, a former governor who's been involved in PNG politics for 40 years, easily won the presidential race, with the incumbent, James Tanis, second but more than 30,000 votes back.

Mr Momis's New Bougainville party will also dominate the assembly with the new MPs including Leo Hannett and Dr Alexius Sarei, who both served as premiers of the province in the 1970s.

But Mr Momis believes the older men can still bring new direction to the struggling province.

"We want new ideas. New blood doesn't necessarily mean that people possess new ideas, modern ideas to modernise Bougainville. The current leadership, the president is very young but his ideas are outdated and the people of Bougainville have rejected that. And they have rejected in no uncertain terms corruption, mismanagement and politicial misdemeanour."