By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee on Bougainville Matters today conducted a public hearing in Port Moresby following similar hearings in Rabaul, Lae and Goroka. Among the agenda, updates on the progress by the Bougainville Referendum Commission – the body tasked to facilitate and deliver the referendum exercise in the Island Region later this year.
Similar to consultative hearings in Rabaul, Lae and Goroka, the Parliamentary Bipartisan Committee on Bougainville matters today held a public hearing in Port Moresby. An opportunity to provide an update on progress made by relevant State Agencies in preparing the Autonomous Region of Bougainville for the upcoming referendum on its political future.
Outside of Bougainville itself, Port Moresby lays claim to the largest number of Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville – and the consultation today provided an important insight into preparations.
Also present was the National Research Institute – who under their Bougainville Referendum Research Study, who also presented a brief on the decade long conflict.
The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) is an independent body tasked to deliver the Referendum this year – today BRC Commissioner, Robert Igara, also addressed the occasion, outlining the importance in ensuring the integrity of this process was upheld. The Chief Referendum Officer also used the opportunity to address questions from the Bougainville Community – mostly related to the operations of the BRC, and progress being made on various electoral activities.