BOUGAINVILLE TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT ACCEPTS AMENDMENT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 11, 1997 - PACNEWS)--- The Bougainville Transitional Government (BTG) has voted in favor of amending legislation to allow all four Bougainville Members of Parliament to become full members of the BTG.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Bill Skate announced Wednesday afternoon that the BTG voted 20 to one in favor of the amendment.

Skate says this is a very crucial piece of legislation, required on the part of the BTG in order to comply with due procedures at the national Parliament level as well as the provincial assembly level. He says he is very happy with this latest development and has expressed his gratitude to the Premier, Gerard Sinato, and all the BTG members for their understanding and cooperation.

The acceptance of the amendment coincided with a visit to Buka Wednesday by a government delegation from Port Moresby. The delegation consisted of Provincial Affairs Minister Simon Kaumi, Bougainville Affairs Minister Sam Akoitai, and Provincial Affairs Secretary Collin Travetz.

Their visit followed failure by the government Tuesday to secure the required 82 votes to pass legislation to extend the term of the BTG for another year to December 31, 1998. Prime Minister Skate says he is now confident the third reading and final vote will have the necessary support of Parliament.

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