Bougainville communities to own referendum process

10:40 am on 5 December 2016

Bougainville's preparations for its referendum on possible independence from Papua New Guinea are being taken back to the communities.

Casting a vote in Vanuatu

Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The vote is set to happen in June 2019, but before then the region has meet certain criteria regarding such things as weapons surrender and good governance.

The man heading the preparation process is former Bougainville president, James Tanis, who is secretary of the Department of Referendum, Veteran Affairs and Peace.

He said they have set up referendum committees in each of the region's constituencies so that the communities can own the process.

"So what it means is that through the constituency based committees, the issues of awareness on the referendum, the issue of weapons disposal, the issue of unification and the issue of political dialogue for the people to talk about their future is now taken back into the communities," he said.

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