16 Jan 2020

Strong opposition emerges to proposed Bougainville reforms

10:30 am on 16 January 2020

Bougainville president John Momis (in orange cap) is seeking a third term in office. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

A prominent Bougainville leader has come out against government plans to allow presidents to hold office for three terms.

Such a move goes before Parliament this week aimed at ensuring the incumbent John Momis, who has been president for 10 years, can continue in the role.

Cabinet minister Albert Punghau, a supporter of Mr Momis, has said there is a desire for continuity as Bougainville begins its post-referendum negotiations with Papua New Guinea.

But Martin Miriori, who once led the Bougainville Interim Government and had a senior role in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, has strongly condemned the move.

He accused the leaders of not listening to the people and being blinded by "their greed and power and money".

Mr Miriori also said the government's push came amid corruption allegations implicating a number of Bougainville's leaders.

He also tied the move to the government's controversial plan to ensure its favoured backer to develop the Panguna mine, Caballus, was successful.

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