10 Jun 2008

Observer believes there are capable Bougainvilleans able to continue work of Joseph Kabui

3:12 pm on 10 June 2008

The first president of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is being honoured with a state funeral today in Port Moresby.

Joseph Kabui died suddenly in Buka at the weekend.

PNG's Deputy Prime Minister, Doctor Puka Temu, says Mr Kabui was a great leader who had worked tirelessly for the peaceful resolution of the Bougainville conflict and for the good of his people.

Meanwhile the executive director of the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, says there are a number of talented younger leaders who could step up to take Mr Kabui's place.

"Joseph Kabui of course was an excellent person in terms of pursuing peaceful dialogue and harmony, and being a highly skilled and pragmatic politician, but there are other skilled politicians who may be able to step forward and fill the gap, even if they weren't immediately expecting to do so."