23 Mar 2020

Bougainville Speaker to issue writs for upcoming election

9:18 am on 23 March 2020

The Speaker of Bougainville Parliament is pushing ahead with issuing the writs for the election, despite two court challenges.

A tentative date of June 15th 2019 has been set for a referendum on possible independence in the Autonomous Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville.

Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

Pending any injunction, Simon Pentanu said the election would be held from 11 to 25 May.

This year's election is more significant than most, it will determine the makeup of the autonomous region's leadership as it heads into independence negotiations with the Papua New Guinea government.

But incumbent president John Momis is before the Supreme Court, pushing to be allowed to run for a third term as president.

The current government is also challenging the retention of three seats for ex-combatants.

But in a statement, Mr Pentanu said the Supreme Court action should not prevent Bougainville from going ahead with its election.

He said he would issue the writs on 27 March.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs