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June 21, 2021
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Concerns raised on views of Bougainville Referendum

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The Catholic Professionals Society of PNG has raised concerns on certain comments on social media questioning the constitutional validity of the Bougainville Referendum.

In a statement sent to EMTV NEWS, the Society expressed that while free speech is a guaranteed right of every citizen including Bougainvilleans, people should remain neutral and let the process take its course as it is guided under the Bougainville Peace Agreement which was given Organic and Constitutional Law status by the PNG Government.

The society is also concerned with certain comments questioning the Bougainville Constitution and the envisioned consultation between the PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government.

“Our society also recognizes that the operational part of the peace agreement gives due recognition of the National Parliament to approve the Referendum Outcome for it to take effect within a specified period of years,” President Paul Harricknen stated.

With 2019, the 14th anniversary of the formation of the Bougainville Government, the sequence of events from 2001 to date shows the maturing relationship between the two Governments and in the eve of voting, people must respect the wishes of the Bougainville people.

“While we want to remain united as one people, one nation, one country, we must allow a constitutionally sanctioned referendum on Bougainville,” Mr Harricknen said.

 

By Stanley Ove Jnr – EM TV News, Port Moresby

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