14 May 2005

Presidential contender in Bougainville dismisses criticism over entering the race

12:37 pm on 14 May 2005

The former Governor of the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, John Momis, has rejected criticism that he should not have resigned his seat in national Parliament to contest the Bougainville Preisdency.

The charge came from one of his main rivals in the race to lead the autonomous government, Joseph Kabui.

Don Wiseman reports...

"Mr Kabui says he was disappointed to hear that Mr Momis had thrown his hat in the ring to contest the election. Mr Kabui's People's Congress Party says the former Governor had a mandate to represent the province in the national parliament, and he should stay there. Mr Kabui says after Mr Momis' announcement he pondered not entering the race. But Mr Momis says he has always pushed decentralisation in the national parliament. He says he is known as the father of decentralisation and now Bougainville has autonomy his work in Port Moresby is complete. He says he has a lot to offer Bougainville and wants to see the peace process through to completion."