24 Apr 2020

Confirmation Bougainville poll delay would affect referendum consultations

11:17 am on 24 April 2020

The President of Bougainville, John Momis, has confirmed any substantial decision from the referendum consultations will be held over until a new government is in place.

Bougainville President John Momis

Bougainville President John Momis Photo: supplied

In November last year Bougainvilleans voted overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea.

But negotiations are being affected by the Bougainville election process.

That poll, initially due in June, was likely to be delayed, and Mr Momis said it could potentially be as late as September.

This week MPs changed the State of Emergency Act to allow elections during the emergency, but Mr Momis said that could only happen if the health and security officials agreed polling could be done safely.

He said there had been ongoing consultations over the referendum outcome, involving the PNG Minister of Bougainville Affairs, Dr Puka Temu and his Bougainville counterpart, Albert Punghau.

But Mr Momis said any substantial decisions would wait until the new government was installed.