10 Mar 2010

Future political status of Bougainville drawn up

12:07 pm on 10 March 2010

Preparations for a referendum on the future political status of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville are now being drawn up.

The referendum was one of the key concessions in the Bougainville Peace Agreement signed in 2001 and allows for a vote on possible full independence by 2016.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the President of the ABG, James Tanis, saying the Joint Supervisory Body, established with the PNG national government, is to set up a working group.

He says this group's task is to investigate constitutional, legal, administrative and financial matters that need to be considered in preparing for the conduct of referendum.

It's been directed to keep both governments informed on issues such as weapons disposal, the quality of governance and facilities for non-resident Bougainvilleans to cast votes.