18 Mar 2020

Bougainville's Momis says people have pleaded for him to stand

3:21 pm on 18 March 2020

The President of the autonomous region of Bougainville, John Momis, says he wants to contest this year's Bougainville election because the people have pleaded with him to stay.

Bougainville President John Momis

Bougainville President John Momis Photo: supplied

He said the people wanted him leading Bougainville in the consultations over the results of the referendum last November on independence from Papua New Guinea.

Mr Momis has been president since 2010 but was currently barred from contesting for a third term under the Bougainville Constitution.

He said he initially didn't want to stand but many had asked him to do so.

"The calls from North, Central and South, from a lot of people - the silent majority - have asked me to contest, especially in this critical final phase of the process - be part of the leadership to ensure that we create a united, formidable front in Bougainville, to engage the national government."

Mr Momis said he was waiting on a ruling from the PNG Supreme Court over whether a decision by the Bougainville parliament to stop him standing was legitimate.

Meanwhile the Bougainville and PNG governments had agreed that consultations on the outcome of the referendum would not begin until after this year's election.

It was was the key outcome of the latest meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body, the forum which has overseen the implementation of the peace agreement.