18 Mar 2005

Francis Ona vows no election disruption on PNG's Bougainville island

4:14 pm on 18 March 2005

The rebel leader on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville, Francis Ona, has given an undertaking not to disrupt the province's upcoming elections.

Bougainville is to hold its first elections for an autonomous government from May 20th.

The process of updating the electoral roll is almost complete and Governor John Momis says this includes the names of people living in the so called No Go Zone - the part of the island still under the control of Francis Ona.

Mr Momis says in recent days Mr Ona has also given an assurance, through intermediaries, that his Me'ekamui people will not disrupt the poll.

He says it is big breakthrough.

"I don't know if they will vote - all of them will vote. But the fact that they have given an undertaking that they wouldn't disrupt the election is a big plus for us."

John Momis