The vote is non-binding and the government of Papua New Guinea has the final say on what becomes of Bougainville. “I’ve suffered with my people. #AMBMcKee #Pacific", Elections and referendums in Bougainville, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2019_Bougainvillean_independence_referendum&oldid=993961163, 2019 in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, History of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Pages using bar box without float left or float right, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 12:20. Bougainville's independence referendum explained", "51. Bougainville continues to move forward in its referendum preparations despite the many challenges faced by our government. The Bougainville Referendum Commission has ramped up its awareness, sending SMS messages direct to people’s mobile phones. Cars beeped their horns in the streets, as crowds – singing, dancing, cheering and playing pan flutes – followed the region’s president John Momis, to the polling booth to watch him as he cast the first vote in the referendum. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville is deciding very soon whether it will secede from Papua New Guinea, achieve greater autonomy, or remain in the country. Communication is a challenge; there is no radio or television network that covers the entire population and just a few hundred copies of Papua New Guinean newspapers are brought from the mainland each day. This site remains as an archive of all BRC public information regarding the conduct of the Bougainville referendum. The referendum comes after the conclusion of the Bougainville civil war which left an estimated 15,000 to 20,00 Bougainvilleans dead. [61] In Bougainville and elsewhere, the loss of ABC reporting and reach in the Pacific has opened up a void of reliable … We also bring to you an update on major reconciliations and declarations made by two constituencies in Bougainville. The date of the Bougainville Referendum is now set to take place on NOVEMBER 23, 2019. The outcome of the Bougainville referendum is subject to ratification of the PNG parliament, and although this may … The Bougainville referendum is a key milestone contained in a political settlement, the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which sought to reconcile a violent conflict from 1988-1997. [3] The referendum would be non-binding, and the final say would rest with the Papua New Guinean government. Almost 98 per cent of the 181,067 votes cast backed … A television screen outside the market in Arawa is used to communicate updates on the referendum process (Photo: Ben Bohane/Wakaphotos.com) The ABC’s cessation of shortwave broadcasting to the region means it cannot play the role it did in the vote for East Timor’s independence. Back to Events. The referendum has been a long time coming. The referendum will give the people of Bougainville the opportunity to express their opinion on the future political status of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, as guaranteed in the 2001 Peace Agreement. Papua New Guinea will seek to ensure a likely majority vote for independence in its autonomous … Per the Peace Agreement, whatever the result of the referendum, the referendum process will be followed by bilateral negotiations between the two governments on the future political status of Bougainville. In the middle of Arawa town, a youth group from Rorovana stages a play for locals on what the voting process will be, even down to the detail of what a voting booth looks like. The BPA declares that in the Constitution of the Papua New Guinea National Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) is guaranteed a referendum on Bougainville’s political future to be held amongst Bougainvilleans 10-15 years after the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. [13], In October 2018, former Taoiseach of Ireland Bertie Ahern was appointed to chair the Bougainville Referendum Commission, which was responsible for preparing the referendum. The referendum is a key part of a 2001 peace agreement that ended a civil war in which at least 15,000 people died in the cluster of islands to the east of the Papua New Guinea mainland. The quiet streets and sombre procession are a stark contrast to scenes in this park the day before, which is the polling booth for Buka town, in a long-awaited referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea. In order to spread information to people about the vote and the political process that will follow, not-for-profits have travelled through the islands conducting dialogues and putting on awareness-raising events. ”There were 829 polling stations; 800 in Bougainville and 29 outside Bougainville -Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Solomon,” he said. So far Bougainville has been spared from any COVID-19 outbreak and has enacted its own State of Emergency. The remaining 40% would be left for investors to bid on. [16] Males undergoing the upe rite of passage were allowed to vote at special male-only polling stations. Besides those at the ceremony, the town is almost deserted. It is hoped that the analysis will assist voters in deciding the most suitable candidate to be the next President for Bougainville. The Indian Express is now on Telegram. [3], An official reported that the referendum went "better than we expected," and that voters were enthusiastic,[21] while observers from Divine Word University said that the voting took place in an atmosphere of celebration. The spread of the virus has caused widespread disruptions and has also impacted on the Bougainville transition process that started when the referendum result was announced. 25 Nov 2019. Bougainville Referendum Commission Chairman Bertie Ahern was cheered when he announced that more than 98% of valid ballots favored independence. NEW DAWN FM NEWS THE President for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Ismael Toroama says even though the Bougainville Consultation team and the JSB did not meet, the JTT was able to make a number of resolutions. Celebrations as voting begins to decide whether the region will break away from Papua New Guinea, Wed 27 Nov 2019 22.39 EST Over the course of two weeks – beginning last Saturday – more than 206,000 Bougainvilleans, living in the region, on mainland PNG, in Australia and the Solomon Islands, will have their chance to vote to decide whether they wish Bougainville to remain within PNG but with “greater autonomy” or whether the voters will mark “box two” and opt to create an independent state. Last update: 10:40am, 12th December, 2019 Sydney, Australia Reuters . Polls on the Pacific island chain of Bougainville have closed to end two weeks of voting in a landmark referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea (). People voted overwhelmingly for independence (97.71 per cent) in what was widely regarded to be a successful process, with an informed and engaged citizenry. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region's new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. 2019 Bougainville independence referendum. For now, the people of Bougainville feel optimistic. [24] On the same day, the December result was commended by the Referendum Commission to the governments and the referendum process formally closed. With independence, all of Papua New Guinea's interests in the mine would transfer to Bougainville, giving it a 60% share in all projects and retaining all mining licences. The Electoral Commissioner, George Manu, said the roll used in Bougainville's independence referendum late last year was being used as the working roll for updating.. Assistant returning officers, who were appointed this week, were now to … The referendum gave voters in the island cluster a choice between independence and greater autonomy. This article is intended to highlight the key agenda in post referendum Bougainville and the type of leadership qualities demanded of the incoming President by the current situation in Bougainville. The vessels have brought families dressed in their Sunday best for church from other parts of Buka island, some 700km off the coast of Papua New Guinea. We also bring to you an update on major reconciliations and declarations made by two constituencies in Bougainville. Voters will be asked: Do you agree for Bougainville to have, (i) greater autonomy or (ii) independence? The Electoral Commissioner, George Manu, said the roll used in Bougainville's independence referendum late last year was being used as the working roll for … [25], Following the announcements of the result, John Momis, President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, said, "at least psychologically, we feel liberated." Now with such a phenomenal majority, it’s much harder for them to do that. We are doing this for our daughters and granddaughters.”. May it be peaceful and successful,” says the priest. One of these events is being held in Arawa in the days before voting opened. Jonathan Barrett . The result will be declared in mid-December and is expected to be overwhelming in favour of independence. [4] The civil war ended with a ceasefire in 1998, that was followed with the Bougainville Peace Agreement from 2001. People sing songs of a safe and fair referendum and, in case they forget, small boards are placed on roadsides with the number two painted on them, to remind them to choose a vote for independence. Seen a lot of injustice done, during the crisis … I am 65 years old and I’ve seen everything. [8], The vote was originally scheduled for 15 June 2019,[9] but was delayed to 17 October amid allegations that the national government was slow to provide most of the promised funding for the referendum. … The Acting Commissioner of Police for PNG in charge of the operation, Francis Tukura, has thanked the Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission for its assistance. The non-binding referendum, to ascertain a preference for either greater autonomy or separate statehood, was a promise enshrined in the 2001 Bougainville Peace agreement. On top of this roughy half of the population are illiterate. "[26], Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape acknowledged the referendum results and stated that he would only commit his government to develop "a road map that leads to a lasting peace settlement" in consultation with Bougainville authorities. Autonomy in all its different forms such as free association has been rejected by the Vote. Both governments said this delay would be the last. Bougainville Referendum: Peaceful polling in Bougainville. Bougainville votes with more than 97 per cent in favour of independence from Papua New Guinea in an important post-conflict referendum. Referendum Updates My Island is called the ‘Autonomous Region of Bougainville AROB” and it will have a referendum next year, on June 15 2019. Currently, the independence referendum is scheduled for 15 June, 2019. The referendum result is non-binding and must be ratified by PNG parliament, but the country's new prime minister James Marape has said he would prefer Bougainville to stay within PNG. In reality, the result of the referendum is non-binding, and ultimately the PNG parliament has to vote on whether to allow Bougainville its independence, something that could take up to a … Bougainville Referendum Commission chair Bertie Ahern said on Tuesday the vote was conducted "in an environment that was conducive to a free, fair and credible process". Cave noted that, as with other Pacific countries, Bougainville will likely make pleas to Australia and New Zealand for assistance in developing its institutions while China and potentially the United States may offer diplomatic and economic partnerships once independence is achieved. Toroama-Nisira government passes 2021 Budget. The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence. And this has made me so happy. BBC. When is the Bougainville referendum? Overseas voting for the Bougainville Independence referendum is underway at polling stations on Gizo in Solomon Islands and Cairns in Australia. The referendum question was a choice between greater autonomy within Papua New Guinea and full independence; voters voted overwhelmingly (98.31%) for independence. After two weeks of voting, the results are finally in: More than 98% of Bougainvilleans have voted in favor of independence. Travelling through the region, support for independence is evident. Also read | Explained: From Bougainville referendum to Nithyananda’s Kailaasa, how is a new country formed? Discussions about an independent Bougainville had been held as early as 1968. BOUGAINVILLE REFERENDUM UPDATE. Our people need to understand this,” she says. world Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 11:55 IST Associated Press It is hosted by the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea as a record of an historic national event. The referendum is non-binding and a vote for independence would then need to be negotiated by leaders from both Bougainville and Papua New Guinea. [27], Bougainville's referendum for independence from Papua New Guinea, Bougainvillean independence referendum, 2019, Vice-President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, East Timorese independence referendum, 1999, Montenegrin independence referendum, 2006, South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011, "Bougainville referendum: region votes overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea", "Birth of a nation? Audio. Stay tune for more updates. The referendum is non-binding, and a vote for independence would then need to be negotiated by leaders from both Bougainville and Papua New Guinea. Although it is the last of the three phases of the enrolment stages, enrolment continues until August 16, when writs are issued. UPDATE 1-Bougainville mining expectations rise amid peaceful referendum. It is going to have a referendum, which the people of Bougainville, living in and outside the region will take a vote whether to remain with Papua New Guinea (PNG) or break away and get independence. Starting this week, people living in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on the Digicel network are receiving short SMS messages on their phone with awareness and updates about the referendum process — BRC Tok Save. This demonstrates their readiness to actively and freely take part in the … Latest News. Counting for the Referendum is expected to start today after all ballot boxes and papers are verified. All rights reserved. A majority vote for independence is widely expected. There is an issue with managing expectations, especially the belief that if the vote returns a strong result for independence, as expected, Bougainville will immediately become independent. A handful of taxi boats float next to the closed market. Papua New Guinea/Bougainville (1975-present)", "Bougainville referendum: PNG region votes overwhelmingly for independence", "Bougainville referendum not binding - PM", "Bougainville independence could revive one of world's biggest copper mines", "Bougainville and Papua New Guinea set target date for independence referendum", "Independence vote delayed for Papua New Guinea's Bougainville", "Bougainville set to hold long-awaited independence referendum", "Bougainville 'very happy' to have Bertie Ahern involved", "Photo essay: Bougainville's historic independence referendum", "Bougainville independence referendum ends", "Question agreed for Bougainville's independence referendum", "Bougainville voters back independence by landslide", "Bougainville independence vote delivers emphatic demand to become world's newest nation", "Polls close in Bougainville referendum on independence from PNG", "PNG leader apologises to Bougainville for bloody 1990s civil war", "The celebratory Bougainville referendum – stories from Siwai", "Chair – Commends Referendum Result to two Governments", "Seeking Independence From Papua New Guinea, Bougainville Votes to Become World's Newest Country", "China has big stake in Bougainville independence", "Bougainville Votes for Independence From Papua New Guinea", "Congratulations to #Bougainville and #PapuaNewGuinea for a peaceful referendum process. 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