1 Sep 2003

Attorney General says Bougainville constitution needs to be re-drafted

3:32 pm on 1 September 2003

Bougainville's constitution must be rewritten before it can be resubmitted to the Papua New Guinea government.

The attorney general, Francis Damen, says the second draft, which paves the way for an autonomous government, has provisions which are inconsistent with the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the national constitution.

Mr Damen says these include Bougainvilleans being the only ones allowed to own land and the level of sovereignty over the island surrendered by the national government.

Mr Damen says Bougainvilleans must now rewrite their constitutional draft.

"They will have to do that because people are coming up with ideas, concepts, which are not necessarily consistent with the national constitution. It's up to the Bougainville Constitutional Development Commission to explain to the people that we cannot have this, the national government is not comfortable with this."

Francis Damen - PNG's Attorney General.