Five women are among 73 candidates nominated in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are contesting this year’s National General Elections.
Acting Election Manager, Desmond Timiyaso, told EMTV News that only two political parties endorsed their women candidates.
They are the People’s Progress Party and Social Development Party.
The other three are contesting as independent candidates.
“Two women for the North and Central Bougainville, one for South Bougainville while there is none for the Bougainville Regional,” said Timiyaso.
“In North Bougainville, we have Elizabeth Burain contesting under the banner of the People’s Progress Party and Rachel Opeti Konaka as an independent candidate. [In] Central Bougainville, we have Lynette Ona as Independent and Gloria Terikian as Independent while in South Bougainville is former South Bougainville Women Representative in the Bougainville House of Representatives contesting under the Social Development Party who is Rose Pihei ”.
Meanwhile, Bougainville is renowned for promoting women into parliament with the allocated three women reserve seats in the Bougainville House of Representative.
And also the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is the second in the Pacific apart from Samoa, which is implementing the Temporary Special Measures (TSM) Policy that promotes women into parliament.
According to South Bougainville Women Representative in the Bougainville House of Representatives, Isabel Peta, each political party must at least endorse a woman to contest any election.
“It’s only through the party system of each political party to help the women and give them opportunities to contest any election,” she said.
Mr. Timiyaso has also supported Bougainville’s style of promoting women into Parliament.
“Political parties should give women a fair chance by endorsing them,” he said.
In 2015, the Registry of Political Parties created a platform for women to be given the opportunities, under the provision in the Revised Organic Law on Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) for political parties to endorse 10 per cent women candidates in national elections.
Registrar, Dr. Alphonse Gelu in earlier media reports outlined this is one way to make political parties inclusive rather than being exclusive institutions.