25 Jun 2020

Getting services to villages key for Bougainville's Toroansi

3:51 pm on 25 June 2020

One of two women contesting the Bougainville presidential election wants to improve governance so people in the villages get the services they need.

Bougainville is now in the midst of an election campaign with voting to start on August 12th.

Polling in Bougainville's 2019 referendum on independence. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

There are 25 people vying to become president, including Madeleine Toroansi, who first stood for the position 10 years ago.

She is a former diplomat and MP who held the Central Bougainville women's seat in the inaugural Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Having spent much of the intervening time involved in peace building, Ms Toroansi says it shows that governance in Bougainville is ineffective.

"Because I saw it at the ground level in the community, because I live in the village, live a village life and I feel the way the people feel.

"To influence change, to change the governance system, so that services can reach the people on the ground."

The second woman contesting the presidency is Ruby Miringka, who was one of the members of the Bougainville Referendum Commission last year.

She has also headed the Bougainville Healthy Community concept.

More than 400 other candidates are contesting the other 39 seats in the legislature, the highest number ever for a Bougainville election.