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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Proposal for former NZ PM Helen Clark to chair Bougainville referendum commission

The Autonomous Bougainville Government at the Joint Supervisory Body meeting (JSB) last Friday proposed former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to be the chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC).

But this is an ongoing discussion that will further be addressed when the two parties meet in Buka for the April JSB meeting in 2018.

JSB last Friday, both chaired by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and ABG President John Momis, noted to firstly confirm Clark’s interest and availability.

Another candidate was suggested by the European Union and also former Ireland prime minister, who was closely involved in the Ireland referendum.

Referendum for Bougainville was the key agenda, and this will be further discussed when the ABG and PNG Governments meet in Buka in March 2018.

At the JSB, an update on BRC Transition Committee and matters arising from the first meeting was discussed and the JSB endorsed the report of the BRC Transitional Committee meeting dated December 5, 2017.

The key issues identified in the meeting included; appointment of the BRC chair and membership from ABG and National Government, funding from both government and UN support package. The JSB agreed;

– On the ABGs proposed candidate – Helen Clark, but firstly confirming her interest and availability. Another candidate was suggested offered by the European Union. Former Ireland prime minister, who was closely involved in the Ireland referendum.

– That the Prime Minister and the ABG President will further consult over the candidates and make a decision before the BRC Transitional Committee meeting scheduled on the February 9, 2018.

The JSB also:
– Endorsed the ABG appointed BRC Members and acknowledged that the appointment of the PNG representation will be formalised by the National Government officials before 9th February 2018.

– Noted that the full BRC should meet as soon as practicable after the chair and the other appointees have been appointed.

– The JSB agreed that a trust account for the BRC is established as soon as practicable. The Electoral Commissioners for PNG and ABO are signatories to the account. Funding allocated in 2017 budget and in the subsequent years for the referendum preparation will be managed from Trust account in accordance with the BRC charter.

The JSB directed that the BRC developed a detailed budget for the conduct of the referendum no later than the next meeting of the BRC Transitional Committee scheduled for February 9, 2018.

Another issue discussed was the approval of the UN Referendum Support Package where the JSB endorsed the initiative by the joint technical officials in progressing the consultations with the UN to explore on processes for securing a new package for operationalise the effective functioning of the BRC.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 3:06 PM. Filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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