Bougainville to retain autonomy for next five years: Temu

4:09 pm on 28 September 2020

Papua New Guinea's government has indicated Bougainville will have a new political status in five years time.

PNG's Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu.

PNG's Minister for Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Johnny Blades

PNG's Minister of Bougainville Affairs, Sir Puka Temu, has congratulated Ishmael Toroama on his election as Bougainville's president.

He says the autonomous region's elections usher in an important phase for consultations over the outcome of Bougainville's independence referendum.

An overwhelming majority voted for independence from PNG in last year's non-binding referendum.

Sir Puka says the Autonomous Bougainville Government will remain in place for another five-year term.

"Before the fifth ABG election they could agree that it will not be under the autonomous government, it will be under a new arrangement - it could be independence, it could be greater autonomy, or it could be whatever they agree to."

"But for currently, next five years under President Ishmael Toroama em bai under autonomous arrangement."

Meanwhile, EMTV reported that PNG prime minister Jame Marape will lead a delegation of government ministers to Bougainville tomorrow.

The delegation is expected to meet President Toroama and discuss efforts to build Bougainville's economic sustainability.

Toroama caretaker administration to stay until Thursday next week

Meanwhile Ishmael Toroama said his caretaker adminstration would operate until Thursday next week.

The three person team includes Toroama, veteran Bougainville cabinet minister Patrick Nisira and the newly elected women's MP for South Bougainville, Therese Kaetavara.

Each of the members had been allocated a handful of portfolios and they will be responsible for running the government until the full government line up was announced on Thursday week.

Toroama said their work would include preparing for the ongoing consultations with the PNG government and key development partners.

He said he would take time to consult with each MP, and others, to ensure he had the best government that could deliver the services needed for the people of Bougainville.

Ismael Toroama

Ismael Toroama Photo: Facebook