A 40-day petition period for the Bougainville Referendum process has closed without any complaint lodged.
People of the autonomous Papua New Guinea region voted in a non-binding referendum on possible independence late last year.
Voters were asked to choose between Bougainville having continued autonomy within PNG or becoming independent. A 97.7 percent majority voted for option two, in a voter turnout of 87.4 percent which was a national electoral record.
A period allowing for possible petitions against the result expired this week, without any submissions. It formally ends the electoral part of the referendum process.
To come into effect the referendum result must be ratified by PNG's national parliament. First consultations between the PNG and autonomous Bougainville governments on how to implement the result are due to begin this week.
Meanwhile, Acting Chief Referendum Officer, Desmond Tsianai, said the electoral process had proven to be a credible one for all interested parties, as well as international and domestic observers.
"Our sole purpose was to deliver, according to the law, a democratic and credible answer to the question of 'independence or greater autonomy' for Bougainville as voted for by Bougainvilleans," Mr Tsianai said.
"The absence of petitions validates the Commission's own view that the referendum was conducted to international standards, and was a free and fair process providing a result which the two governments of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea can trust.
"We now wish the two governments all the best as they commence the next steps of the Referendum process as defined by the Peace Agreement: a period of consultation and then a final ratification by the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea of the political future of Bougainville."
The body which oversaw the electoral process, the Bougainville Referendum Commission, now enters its final phase of operation.
The Commission is to meet tomorrow in PNG's capital, Port Moresby, to begin the process of winding up the Commission over the next three months.
It is also to ensure all outstanding payments are finalised, and that all assets and finances are accounted for and dispersed to funding agencies and/or the two governments.
A comprehensive report will eventually be produced by the commission.
"The Commission will continue to operate according to its charter, including being professional and transparent," said Mr Tsianai.
After the three months, the Commission will revert back to a transitional Commission co-chaired by the two Electoral Commissioners, and the Chief Secretaries of the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville.