Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. ( Log Out /  The two-week referendum period began on November 23 and closed on December 7. ( Log Out /  “There’s tears, tears of joy, raw emotion – people have waited a long time, The pen is always mightier than the sword.”. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It involved nearly 1500 polling officials across 829 locations in PNG, the Solomon Islands and Australia. But mining has been crippled by the war – and the distribution of revenue was one of the factors behind the conflict. This site remains as an archive of all BRC public information regarding the conduct of the Bougainville referendum. 1,096 were classed as informal, or void. One estimate cited by the Lowy Institute says Bougainville would only have 56% of the revenue needed to be self-reliant. The people of Bougainville, an island group in Papua New Guinea, have voted overwhelmingly for independence. Before now, Bougainville is an Island in Papua New Guinea, but citizens of the Island have carried out a referendum which showed a landmark step towards breaking out to form their own country. The new country – should it happen – would be small, with a land mass of less than 10,000 sq km (slightly larger than Cyprus, and slightly smaller than Lebanon). The end of the fighting led to the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and the promise of a non-binding referendum on independence. The Bougainville Referendum is a key part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which was signed in 2001. The official referendum result shows an overwhelming 98 per cent of voters have opted to leave PNG and become a sovereign nation. FILE PHOTO: Residents hold a Bougainville flag at a polling station during a non-binding independence referendum in Arawa, on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville November 26, 2019. Under the terms of the agreement, the referendum is nonbinding and will be subject to consultation after the vote has taken place. The South Pacific region of Bougainville voted overwhelmingly to become the world’s newest nation by gaining independence from Papua New Guinea, results showed Wednesday. Bougainville Referendum Commission Chairman Bertie Ahern was cheered when he announced that more than 98% of valid ballots favored independence. The position of Bougainville … The only other option in … Discussions will take place with the Papua New Guinea government to decide when – or if – the transition to full independence can begin. How its outcome will be handled remains unclear. The 2019 Bougainville referendum offered valuable lessons for future elections, Kerryn Baker and Thiago Oppermann write. The BPA culminated a peace process that began in 1998 after nine years (1988–1997) of civil war between the PNG Defence Force, its local militia allies and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). He said that the people have spoken through the votes and the outcome will not be different. The ABG President, Chief DR JOHN MOMIS was lost for words after the results were declared by the Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission this afternoon. With 87.4 percent* turnout, voting in the Bougainville referendum – conducted from November 23 through December 7 – concluded with the announcement of results on December 11. The referendum was 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. Other observers from the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth Secretariat and some Pacific nations gave unofficial indications they thought the referendum was conducted peacefully and in a largely free and fair manner. According to the official results from the referendum, almost 98 percent of the 181,067 votes cast backed independence in the non-binding poll. Last week the election results in Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville were announced. The process of becoming a separate nation could take years to achieve. Ballot boxes are returned by boat to Buka, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Bougainvilleans have voted overwhelmingly for independence from Papua New Guinea following the announcement of results this afternoon by the Bougainville Referendum Commission. This is a key agenda item for the Joint Supervisory Body meeting on Friday in Port Moresby. After two weeks of voting, the results are finally in: More than 98% of Bougainvilleans have voted in favor of independence. Bougainville Referendum Results : ‘We are reborn’: Bougainville votes 97.7 % for independence from Papua New Guinea ” That’s my dream, to go and rebuild, We need the best policies, the best laws, to … It is hosted by the National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea as a record of an historic national event. Some believe it could provide a revenue source for Bougainville should it become independent. Bougainville had a nine-year separatist war that began in 1988, fuelled by economic grievance. BY GORETHY KENNETH Parliament was officially furnished the December 2019 Bougainville Referendum vote results of 98 per cent voting for Independence. The final say will now go to lawmakers in the Papua New Guinea Parliament. The United Nations Resident Co-ordinator for PNG, Gianluca Rampolla said the UN was "fully committed to continue providing support to both governments in the post-referendum process". This was the first election to be held after … ( Log Out /  Out of 181, 067 total ballots counted, 176,928 voted for independence, while 3,043 voted in … Photos copyright Ben Bohane/Wakaphotos.com Members of the Bougainville Women's Federation celebrate the referendum result on Wednesday. The results were announced in the town of Buka by former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, the chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission. Bougainville Referendum Results : ‘We are reborn’: Bougainville votes 97.7 % for independence from Papua New Guinea. The two-week referendum period began on November 23 and closed on December 7. Members of the Bougainville Women's Federation celebrate the referendum result on Wednesday.Credit:@UNinPNG. He said nearly 98 percent for Independence is a huge testimony of what the people of Bougainville want for their future. ” That’s my dream, to go and rebuild, We need the best policies, the best laws, to be the best country. The results of Bougainville’s independence referendum are set to be announced Wednesday — with the troubled Pacific islands expected to … Results announced on Wednesday, had the case for independence backed by 97.7 per cent of the 206,000 registered voters. The first ballot box to be used in Bougainville's independence referendum is unlocked in Buka at the start of polling, 23 November 2019. Although the PNG government was against independence, and does not have to accept the result, the huge mandate will make it hard to ignore. Bougainville President, Ishmael Toroama, is aiming to push Papua New Guinea to make more definite commitments on how both governments will negotiate over the results of the independence referendum. Pajomile Minaka, from Bougainville’s southern region the 36-year old, who was a child during the conflict , told Reuters he was taking a law course to … Independence option wins in Bougainville referendum Three weeks ago we reported on Bougainville's independence referendum - a non-binding vote on whether to split from Papua New Guinea and become a separate country. At the close of the enrolment period 205,731 voters were registered to vote, with close to a 50-50 gender split. "I have confidence that both PNG and Bougainville leaders will proceed with consultations from hereon with the same resolve for a peaceful outcome and decision guided by the people’s decision through the ballot and the results as announced today," Pentanu said. The referendum is part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) between the government of PNG and the leaders of Bougainville in August 2001. The referendum was non-binding – meaning independence won’t happen automatically. Of the 181,000 ballots, almost 98% were in favour of independence. The mine has remained shut since the conflict. Voters had two options - more autonomy, or full independence. "This is a transformative political statement and I ask for some time for the people of PNG to absorb and process this result." The islands have a population of around 300,000, and 206,731 people enrolled to vote in the referendum. The islands attempted to declare independence during the formation of Papua New Guinea in 1975 – but they were ignored. He also thanked the Donor partners, International organizations that observed the polling and the count the UN team, High Commissioners of Britain, Australia, New Zealand and many who were part of the peace process on Bougainville. The referendum is nonbinding, and independence will need to be negotiated between leaders from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea. In late 2019, Bougainville held a non-binding referendum on its future political status, with voters asked to choose between greater autonomy within Papua New Guinea (PNG) or independence. Results announced on Wednesday, had the case for independence backed by 97.7 per cent of the 206,000 registered voters. We are reborn.”. Young men in their Upe initiation hats, the symbol of Bougainville, line up to vote in the independence referendum in Teuapaii village. In his address to the people who were present at the Hutjena Counting Centre, President Momis thanked the people for giving his ABG the clear mandate to consult with the National Government on the wishes of the people. The 98% result is above pre-referendum predictions – most experts expected the figure to be around 75% – 80%. Ballot boxes are returned by boat to Buka, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.Credit:BRC/AP. 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