Polling for the Bougainville Referendum to start on 12 October 2019

The Bougainville Referendum Commission welcomes the agreement of the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government that writs will be issued for the Bougainville Referendum on 16 August 2019 so that polling for the referendum will start on 12 October 2019.

The agreement of the two governments is a step forward in the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. It marks concrete progress by replacing a tentative referendum target date for an real, concrete date on which the Referendum will take place.

Crucially for the Commission, the agreement by the two government gives the BRC time to conduct a full enrolment exercise across Bougainville, the details of which will be announced very soon. We urge all persons eligible to enrol for the Referendum to take the opportunity to enrol when it is offered.

The Commission is hopeful that with the new agreement reached this week there will be swift progress on the necessary supporting tasks that will enable the Commission to be fully operational. To this end, we have welcomed the commitment of the national government to release funds to the Commission. Progress in the Commission’s work is only possible if these funds are indeed remitted and available for use by the Commission in a prompt and timely manner.

The Commission remains fully committed to its tasks and will continue to inform the people of Bougainville as work continues towards the referendum.

For further details, contact:

Mauricio Claudio, BRC Chief Referendum Officer, on [email protected]