Bougainville govt to push for all to vote ‘independence’

Bougainville government president John Momis, left, and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill sign the agreement on the question for next year's independence referendum. Photo: Joseph Nobetau

BUKA, 17 OCTOBER 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – The President of Bougainville, John Momis, says the people of the Autonomous region will be encouraged to vote for independence in next year’s referendum.

Last week Bougainville and Papua New Guinea agreed the referendum question: whether they want greater autonomy or full independence from PNG.

Momis said his government would be pushing for independence, but he said they needed to understand that it would still come down to consultations with the PNG Government after the vote.

“The final outcome has to be a negotiated outcome, but we will negotiate after the referendum. But it is good to have a very clear position from the Bougainvilleans as to what they want and then of course the Peace Agreement requires both governments to sit down and consult which in effect means negotiate,” he said.

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