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Bougainville Referendum Commission confident of delivering a successful referendum

The Bougainville Referendum Commission is confident of delivering a successful referendum for the people of Bougainville. In a media update, the BRC’s Chief Referendum Officer, Mauricio Claudio, provided an update on progress towards the official commencement of polling this Saturday, which will see over 200, 000 registered voters vote for the Autonomous Region’s political future.

With just two days until the start of polling in the Bougainville Referendum, the Chief Referendum Office has expressed optimism in delivering a successful referendum exercise. Flanked by Commissioners of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, Mauricio Claudio, said the BRC was hugely confident in a successful poll.

With a backdrop of voter enrolment figures which showed an almost equal number of men and women who registered to vote, the CRO was confident that given the willingness of both men and women in enrolling for this exercise, the voting process would face little difficulty.

“I’m also happy to report that the roll for the referendum has been completed and its inclusive also when it comes to gender.  We have a satisfactory gender balance, in fact the gender distribution roll for that referendum is better than previous rolls ever used in Bougainville,” Mauricio Claudio stated.

His sentiments echoed by BRC Commissioner, Ruby Mirinka: “…We had 206, 000 voters enroled for the referendum, of which, 105 000 are men, and 101, 000 are females… And we believe this is a credible referendum delivered to the people of Bougainville.”

According to the BRC, the level of transparency in this referendum has been world-class, with this to continue into the polling and counting period, with observers, scrutineers, and media – both domestic and international provided an opportunity to see how this process unfolds.

“The referendum is also the most transparent electoral process ever undertaken in Bougainville, there is a wide range of provisions for scrutineers, observers and the media to witness and monitor the process all along,” the BRC Chief Referendum Officer stated,

And whilst the security of the referendum has been a sticking point, the BRC is confident that through constant dialogue with the Bougainville police service, Bougainville veterans, and communities, the risk will be minimum.

“…the people of Bougainville must respect the process by making sure that it is free, fair, safe, peaceful conduct of referendum that every Bougainvillian will enjoy the process of voting,” BRC Commissioner, Ruby Mirinka commented.

Voting in the Bougainville Referendum begins this Saturday, November 23rd, with counting to start December 8th, and the Writ to be returned to the Governor General before December 20th.

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