By Meriba Tulo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
For close to fifty years, the name John Momis has been synonymous with Papua New Guinea politics. From playing an integral part in drawing up Papua New Guinea’s constitution to his efforts during and after the Bougainville crisis in promoting peace, Momis was recognized for his services to politics in 2005, when bestowed with the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu.
Chief John Momis is now nearing the end of his second term as President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville – by law, he cannot run for election again.
So what’s next for Chief John Momis? I spoke to him recently at his home in Buin, South Bougainville.
It has been a long political career for Chief John Momis. 2019 marks 47 years since this former Catholic Priest was first elected into the House of Assembly as member for Bougainville – subsequently playing a crucial role in drafting the constitution of Papua New Guinea.
Over the years, he has remained a constant influence in PNG politics. And still demands respect wherever he goes. And since the formation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government, he has also remained as a lasting influence, with Chief Momis elected as ABG President in 2010, and again in 2015 – which by law is his last term in office.
But what’s next for Chief John Momis? EMTV’s Meriba Tulo asked him at his residence in Buin, South Bougainville.
During the most recent first round of referendum awareness, President Momis used the opportunity to promote unity and democracy – two traits which he says are crucial for lasting peace on Bougainville.
Through a large part of his political journey, his wife, Lady Elizabeth has been by his side – according to President Momis, their journey in their personal life, much like his political career, has been possible through unity and commitment.
Whilst Chief John Momis has just over twelve months left in public office, he is focusing on ensuring that the upcoming referendum exercise on Bougainville is conducted freely, fairly, and in peace – in line with the Bougainville Peace Agreement.