Bougainvilleans voted for independence

The people of Bougainville have spoken – and overwhelmingly voted for independence from Papua New Guinea.

97.7 percent of Bougainvilleans voted for independence while 2.3 percent opted for greater autonomy.

Announcing the result today at Hutjena Secondary School in Buka, the chairman of the Bougainville Referedum Commission Bertie Ahern said 176,928 votes were for independence while a mere 3,043 wanted to remain with the national government.

The total number of votes cast and counted was 181,067 – from the 206,731 registered voters.

Speakin g after the formal announcement, PNG’s Minister for Bougainville Affairs Sir Puka Temu reminded the people of Bougainville the result is non-binding.

He said the National Parliament will have the last say, however the result presented today will not be presented to the PNG Parliament until consultations are completed.

The Budget support by the PNG Government for Bougainville will continue until negotiations are over.


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