BUKA – Bougainville president John Momis has congratulated three new members of the autonomous government - Albert Toro (Taunita Teop), Gordon Batek (Halia) and Steven Topesi (Kongara) – who have taken their place in the House of Representatives after by-elections.
“As leaders you have been chosen to lead, and lead you must,” Dr Momis said. “Your leadership must be exemplified through your actions that must inculcate moral and ethical values and principles of social justice.
“You must be humble and willing to serve; you must have empathy to understand your people; you must have integrity to lead your people; and you must be courageous to stand up for their rights,” the president said
“Your leadership must also respect the guiding principles of democracy. Be reminded that in a democracy the just powers of government are based upon the consent of the governed.”
Dr Momis reminded them that their new role is that of a legislator, a law maker, in the highest governing body on Bougainville.
He said they are now obligated to serve the people and not to aggrandise themselves.
“Your election to the House of Representatives comes at a very crucial and definitive period in Bougainville’s history,” he said. “We are in fact creating history.
“It is imperative that we present a unified front as we approach the referendum which will take place in less than eight months.
“Unity is our strongest bargaining power so there must be solidarity in the Bougainville leadership, there must be solidarity in the bureaucracy and there must be solidarity in our people,” Dr Momis said.
“As new leaders of Bougainville you will be at the helm of Bougainville’s destiny.
“We must maintain solidarity and remain vigilant against the forces that want to derail the dream of a united and strong Bougainville.”