15 Jan 2020

Bougainville Parliament debate over constitutional change postponed

3:14 pm on 15 January 2020

Tuesday's debate in Bougainville's Parliament was postponed because of a failure to comply with standing orders.

Bougainville's Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau

Cabinet minister Albert Punghau. Photo: supplied

The autonomous Papua New Guinea region is set to consider three pivotal pieces of legislation - to retain the veterans' seats, to rename the government, and to allow presidents to serve three terms instead of two.

However, Cabinet minister Albert Punghau said MPs had not been given the required notice on the constitutional bills.

Parliament would now have the first reading on those measures on Friday.

The three seats in Parliament reserved for the veterans were to be abolished ahead of this year's election but Mr Punghau said there was now support for them to be retained.

There was also a desire for the president to be able to serve three terms, particularly for incumbent John Momis to see through the post-referendum negotiations.

And Mr Punghau said the official title of the government, the 'Autonomous Bougainville Government', was now redundant given the strong independence vote in the referendum.

The executive was proposing it be called the 'Bougainville Constitutional Transitional Government'.

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