By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Autonomous Bougainville Government President, Chief John Momis, addressed Members of the National Parliament today, in what could be his final address to national leaders before a referendum is held on Bougainville, Chief Momis called on national leaders to understand the issues on Bougainville, and to also commit to negotiating the outcome of the upcoming Referendum in a manner that will ensure lasting peace on Bougainville.
Before this morning’s Question Without Notice session, the National Parliament listened to an address from the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Chief John Momis. On the eve of a referendum to determine its political future, Chief Momis, who was also instrumental in developing PNG’s National Constitution, called for understanding from National MP’s, especially in regards to the issues on Bougainville.
Issues which led to the Bougainville Conflict, and events that shaped the current Autonomous arrangements. Much of the focus Chief Momis address was aimed at calling for more understanding from national leaders about the plight of Bougainvilleans, and why there continues to be a push for political independence – a notion that began well before PNG gained independence.
Whilst Bougainville will go to the polls to choose between greater autonomy, and independence, President Momis also reminded the National Parliament that they had the final say on how this vote would be accepted – a responsibility enshrined in PNG’s constitution.
This may well be President’s final address to the National Parliament. Given his role in shaping PNG’s constitution, he also reminded national leaders to think of the future of Bougainville, to ensure a peaceful outcome.