BOUGAINVILLE vice-president Patrick Nisira has announced further consultation plans for the autonomous region’s forthcoming referendum on independence.
Mr Nisira (pictured), speaking in his capacity as referendum minister, said consultations are continuing with civil war veterans in South, Central and North Bougainville as a precursor to a workshop for parliamentarians next Monday.
“The purpose of this workshop will be to formulate a common position on the date of the referendum, the choices available - including the option of independence, a code of conduct for the referendum and the steps Bougainville will needs to take after the referendum,” Mr Nisira said.
He stated these were important issues that needed to involve all Bougainville leaders.
“All elected leaders are called upon to provide leadership in each constituency to prepare Bougainville for the referendum, its successful conduct and the peaceful transition to the next stage,” he said.
Mr Nisira also announced that the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) will open a Mekamui office within the Bougainville administration to assist with the completion of reconciliation, unification and weapons disposal.
The previous self-styled Mekamui government recently agreed to join forces with the ABG.
The opening of the Mekamui office will coincide with the Mekamui defence force commander’s first visit to Buka since the agreement was signed in Panguna.
After the parliamentary referendum workshop, a Bougainville leaders team will take the Bougainville position and negotiate it at a referendum summit in Port Moresby.
The agreed outcome of the summit is to be presented to the joint PNG-Bougainville supervisory body during the week of 3 December.