A large delegation led by Prime Minister James Marape is expected in Buka tomorrow to witness the inauguration of the new President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Ishmael Toroama and elected members of the Bougainville House of Representatives.
Minister for Bougainville Affairs Sir Puka Temu flew into Buka today and met with the new president and said initial talks with Prime Minister James Marape will be about the content of the First Joint Supervisory Committee amongst others.
But the question on how long the consultation will take to lead to the referendum results being presented in parliament will be amongst the top agenda for the JSB meeting.
“I’m very very happy that the Prime Minister and the contingent will be coming from the National Government tomorrow to stand beside the president and his new government, as you and I know that this is the first government after the referendum process so the National Governemnt is committed to support the president and his team as we move to the important phase of the Bougainville Peace Agreement which is the post-referendum consultation process,” said Sir Suka.
While the inauguration is being called the initial meet, top of the agenda in the Joint Supervisory Body meeting in November will be the consultation process.
“Both leaders, the president and the Prime Minister will discuss and set the pace and the programs. We’re proposing that the first JSB meeting be in November and then they will agree to the proposed timetable for next year’s consultation on the referendum results, added Sir Puka.
Meanwhile President Toroama responding to questions on how long he would like consultation to take place, stated that he look forward to talks with the PNG Government but expects the best results for his people.
“It’s all in the peace agreement but actually, we don’t know what the timeframe is yet for the consultation but im prepared, my government to consult with the national government especially in this issue which has cost a lot of lives in Bougainville and like like I’ve said, its up to the consultation process to decide whatever outcome will be then we’ll settle everything for Bogainvile,” says the new president.
The Inauguration Ceremony is set to take place tomorrow morning at the Bougainville House of Representatives with the 39 elected members including the President.
And Toroama indicated that he will announce his cabinet also by tomorrow.
Prime Minister James Marape is expected to announce the K20 million SME fund allocated for AROB, an incentive he hopes will strengthen relations with President Toroama and will set the pace leading into consultation for the road to Independence.