Bougainville's government is planning to delay the regional election by up to two months because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
The election was due to start in early June but the Minister for Peace Agreement Implementation, Albert Punghau, says they are preparing for a later poll.
Since last month, Bougainville has been under a coronavirus state of emergency which the autonomous Papua New Guinea region's parliament has now extended into June.
Mr Punghau said the parliament would met again tomorrow (Tuesday 21 April) to change the State of Emergency Act 2006 so the government can continue to run Bougainville until the state of emergency was lifted.
According to him, the govenment was acting on the advice of health officials about how difficult it would be to hold an election while under lockdown restrictions.
At the same time a critical issue for Bougainvilleans is that negotiations over the outcome of their recent independence referendum are not set to begin until the new government is in place.
Mr Punghau said the government's plan was that the election writs wouldn't be issued until the state of emergency is over, so it's quite possible the election could be as late as August.