Further delay in Bougainville referendum appears all set

12:03 pm on 24 July 2019

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape says he's given his approval for another delay in the Bougainville referendum.

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Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The referendum on independence from PNG was to be held from 12 October but the Bougainville Referendum Commission had asked for an extension to ensure the electoral roll is in order.

The National newspaper reported Mr Marape saying he had given his approval and his government intended to stick to the new deadline.

No announcement has been made on when the deadline will be.

Early next month the Joint Supervisory Board, which governs the relationship between the two governments, is set to hold a meeting in Buin, in south Bougainville.

Mr Marape will attend and says he would campaign for a united PNG while there.

Mr Marape said his government is very sensitive to the issues that Bougainvilleans have gone through.

"We have deliberately kept silent because we don't want to be seen to be in their face trying to influence the outcome of the referendum," he said.

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