PNG PARLIAMENT DEBATES FUTURE OF BOUGAINVILLE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (September 29, 1999 – Radio Australia)---A report on the future of the Bougainville Provincial Government has recommended its suspension continue for another six months.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Kevin McQuillan reports that the recommendation will be debated in the national parliament over the next three days.

"The provincial government was suspended last year by the former Skate administration, amid concern over its structure, make-up and relevance during the peace process.

"Earlier this year, a five-member committee toured Bougainville, talking to the people and leaders in the province, to gauge whether or not the suspension should continue.

"Tabling the report in Parliament, Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta said the report was a first step in finding a long-term political solution for the province. Sir Mekere said while he supported continuing the suspension, it could only be on condition the next six months is spent planning that long-term solution.

"Bougainville leaders have also insisted the national government maintain close consultation over developments.

"Kevin McQuillan, Radio Australia."

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