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EU supports TIPNG with grants for Bougainville Referendum observation

In a first, The European Union has supported the country's watch-dog with over one hundred thousand kina to conduct domestic observation on the Bougainville Referendum process in November.

Transparency International PNG Executive Director Arianne Kassman told NBC News, the team from TIPNG include the Registrar of Political Parties Dr. Alphonse Gelu, Professor John Luluaki from the UPNG School of Law and two researchers from the National Research Institute.

“The TIPNG observation team will be observing the polling process alone for the Bougainville Referendum. The observation will take place in Bougainville, so we will be concentrating the exercise in South and Central Bougainville.

Transparency International PNG will be able to monitor the conduct of the Bougainville Referendum polling by officials as well the freedom of voters to cast their votes without fear or intimidation.

This is after the organization got approval as an accredited Observer Group with the Bougainville Referendum Commission.

Ms. Kassman said this status will enable their team to observe the process and issue an 'independent public report' on its findings.

“The observation of the Bougainville Referendum is to ensure and report back to the Bougainville Referendum Commission and the Autonomous Bougainville Government. Also the process of polling itself whether the polling was free and fair at the polling station and whether the voters had the opportunity to cast their ballot in secret,” Ms. Kassman said.

NBC News
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