Bougainville. Papua New Guinea press review
President of the Autonomous Region Bougainville (ARB) John Momis says he is still waiting to find out whether he’s eligible to stand in this year’s election. In February the Bougainville parliament voted down an attempt by the government to change the constitution to allow a president to contest a third term.
Mr. Momis, who has been Bougainville’s president for the past two terms said to deny him the opportunity was to deny him his constitutional rights. He sought a reference from the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court on the actions of Bougainville’s Parliament and said he could hear the results soon.
The electoral process in Bougainville is to begin on the 17th of June – two months later than initially intended. The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu announced yesterday that the writs would be issued on that date.
A date for the actual poll is yet to be announced but it is likely in late July or early August. Recent legislative changes last week mean that elections can now be conducted during a state of emergency if health and security officials believe this is possible without compromising social distancing requirements. Mr. Manu said the Bougainville health secretary has developed guidelines that everyone including the electoral officials will follow during the electoral process.
Currently, Bougainville doesn’t have any COVID-19 cases, although they are waiting on tests results from several people of interest.