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Papua New Guinea

Momis claims referendum sabotaged

Mr Momis said because of this there was a high probability that the outcome of the 2019 referendum would be the wrong effect and not that envisaged under the Bougainville Peace Agreement because time was catching up on the vote.

He said this when addressing the Torau community of Bougainville in Port Moresby at a function to honour the knighthood bestowed on one of their own leading sons Sir Mel Togolo, of which he was special guest.

“As long as we adhere to the provisions of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, we should not worry about the outcome of the referendum,” Mr Momis said.

“The Peaace Agreement allows for good negotiated outcomes as long as we don’t deviate from what it stipulates.”

He said the government had failed to live up to its end of the agreement and “it can be said that this is deliberate sabotage of the referendum”.

“Do not try to breach the agreement because it will break the synergy of the intended outcomes to get the will of the Bougainville people,” Mr Momis said.

He warned that because of the time limitations and the lack of funding by the national government towards fulfilling the peace agreement, the referendum might not achieve the quality desired.

“We will be risking the quality of the referendum as time gets closer and closer,” Mr Momis said.

“One of the questions is one of independence but leaders should not sabotage the process because you are going to risk the quality of the referendum.”

He said there is a danger that a hurried and diluted outcome of the referendum might create a totally new scenario and not that anticipated under the peace agreement.

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