15 Jan 2019

Growing concerns in Bougainville over lack of funding

10:42 am on 15 January 2019

A senior official in the Bougainville government says more delays to funding will have far-reaching implications on the Papua New Guinea province's ability to achieve a quality outcome in the referendum vote.

Flag of autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Photo: manganganath/123RF

The referendum is for Bougainvilleans to decide if they want to become independent from Papua New Guinea.

Electoral Commissioner and deputy head of the transitional committee for the referendum commission, George Manu, said as they get ready for the 15 June vote, there are some critical issues to address.

Mr Manu said there have been clear commitments, on several occasions, by the PNG Government to fund the Bougainville Referendum Commission.

But he said only $US145,000 has been received of more than $US11,125,000 promised by Port Moresby.

Mr Manu said that it was challenging running an electoral event with irregular funding and he says the Referendum Commission needs its money upfront so it can complete its work on time.

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