BOUGAINVILLE VOTING EXPECTED AFTER MARCH

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ARAWA, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (January 4, 1999 - Post-Courier)---The people of Bougainville are expected to go to the polls sometime after March to elect a new Bougainville Reconciliation Government (BRG).

Election of the BRG will take place as soon as all necessary preparation work has been accomplished, according to rebel leader Joseph Kabui, who also is co-chairman of the Bougainville Constituent Assembly.

Most important, he said, is to revise all electoral boundaries in the province. The BRG is using its new constitution, aimed mainly at promoting peace and normalcy, to make boundary changes.

Mr. Kabui said that even though the revisions are unconstitutional according to the PNG Constitution, it is the wish of the people of Bougainville.

So far, changes are being made to electoral boundaries in Central and South Bougainville. However, Mr. Kabui said changes will be made to all electoral boundaries in the province, whether in BRA controlled or Government controlled areas.

"The revision or changes are being done to effectively bring peace and services to the people,'' he said.

"All over Bougainville, you will find that people want to have better access to services.''

Mr. Kabui said many constituencies now are far too big.

"The aim of the BRG is to bring peace to all corners of Bougainville. The revisions of the boundaries are important in this regard,'' he said.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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