TIPNG launches Bougainville Referendum Observation Report: Report says Bougainville Referenum was “Free, Fair and Safe”
Advocacy Organisation, Transparency International PNG, today launched the findings of its observation into the Bougainville Referendum of 2019.
This report, funded by the European Union.
The report was compiled by the organization’s observer mission, made up of volunteer representatives from the University of Papua New Guinea, National Research Institute, Public Service Commission, Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates Commission, as well as staff of TIPNG.
The mission covered the referendum polling period in North and Central Bougainville, where 163 voters were interviewed across close to 30 polling sites.
The report’s key findings provided an insight into whether the referendum process was free, fair and safe – similar to previous observer missions for PNG elections.
“You have the 58% that said that it wsa the top level, very fair, all processes were followed , and that 42% said that it was mostly fair and that some processes were not followed, this was done by our observers …”
TIPNG Observation member, Yuambari Haihuie says.
For members of the Observer Team, their mission to Bougainville was one that was pleasant, with Team members also noting the celebratory atmosphere at various polling stations, throughout the Autonomous Region.
“it’s difficult to not have these emotions stirred, when you’re at Bel Isi Park and you see the President cast the first vote at the referendum, but for the process and for all of us as observers it was important to also maintain that professional distance and I guess it was important to also have tools that we’re using that guided us in terms of the assessment”
Bougainville Referendum Commissioners Robert Igara, and Dr Thomas Webster were also present for the report launch today.
In responding to the report, Commissioner Igara acknowledged the efforts of all stakeholders in ensuring that for the first time, the first ever referendum in PNG was held on a level equal to international standards.
“We thank TI and the 19 other observers both domestic and international, for participating in the process, because it is one of the pillars that underpins and ensures a credible referendum”.
By Meriba Tulo, EMTV News, Port Moresby