The Chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) Bertie Ahern received the Referendum Writ from the Governor General Sir Bob Dadae at Government House, Konedobu on Friday 27 September. PNG Prime Minister Hon James Marape was also present to witness the ceremony.
The Writ marks the end of enrolment and formalises the dates for polling (23 November to 7 December). It is to be returned to the Governor-General by 20 December with the results.
With up to 202,000 eligible voters to date, Bougainville will go to the polls on November 23 to vote for either independence from PNG or greater autonomy.
On Monday September 30, the Writ will be formally presented to the Chief Referendum Officer, and then to the Referendum Returning Officer, Mr John Sisiesi.
The BRC will return the Writ to the Governor-General on or before 20 December with the following information:
- Number of votes for greater autonomy
- Number of votes for independence
- Number of informal ballot papers
“We will not be declaring a winner or a loser. There is no voter threshold to reach,” Mr Ahern said.
“The process will then begin of the two governments consulting on the result, with a final decision to be made by the National Parliament.”
Feature Pic: Hon. PM James Marape responding remarks