The Bougainville Referendum Commission commenced enrolment this week for Bougainvilleans living and working in the remote locations of Lihir, Porgera, Ramu and Ok Tedi.
The decision was made in response to large populations of Bougainvilleans who have been restricted by employment and remoteness to travel to their provincial PNG Electoral Commission office to enrol.
“To those who have spoken out with a strong desire to take part in the referendum, we have heard you, logistics are now in place, and please be active in getting yourself enrolled this Monday and Tuesday.”
Enrolment will take place on Monday and Tuesday 22-23 July at:
- Lihir Mine – police station Lihir
- Ok Tedi – Star mountain LLG Office
- Ramu Sugar Estate – police station, Ramu Sugar
- Porgera Mine – Paiam Police station, Porgera
“The Commission is pleased to go above and beyond to ensure as many Bougainvilleans can have their say in the referendum. While no roll is perfect, there is a universal desire among all Bougainvilleans to be included in this referendum.”
The Commission forewarned that given the referendum timeline, only a few days would be available in each location.
“The time will be short with just two days in each location, so Bougainvilleans should be active in getting themselves to enrolment centres on time. We advise to following the BRC Facebook page and website, or be in touch with your local Bougainville Association to keep informed.”
All enrolments will be quality checked by the BRC in Bougainville, followed by a public display of the preliminary roll in all Wards in Bougainville.
The voter eligibility criteria established by the two governments for non-resident Bougainvilleans, or those outside Bougainville, are:
- Have links to Bougainville either by birth, adoption, marriage, or clan
- Be 18 years of age of more on the first day of polling
- Are a PNG citizen, and
- Are entitled to vote in PNG National Elections
People must satisfy all criteria.