NEW BOUGAINVILLE GOVERNOR MOMIS SWORN IN

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (December 10, 1999 – Radio Australia)---The Bougainville Provincial Government has been formally recognized with the swearing in of the Member of Parliament for Bougainville, John Momis, as Governor.

Three Bougainville parliamentarians, Michael Ogio, Sam Akoitai and Michael Laimo also have been sworn in as members of the Bougainville Provincial Assembly, which is yet to be formally established.

Mr. Momis says his first task will be to establish a legal entity to provide good governance and to prepare an annual budget.

He says key leaders, including Joseph Kabui, Francis Ona and Joel Bananm along with local government representatives and chiefs, will make-up the new government.

"We have the difficult tasks, and challenging tasks to negotiate a mutually acceptable political regime for Bougainville within the parameters of Papua New Guinea’s constitution.

"We are very happy that all parties have more or less come to an agreement to take a common position, and the Bougainville parties are ready to negotiate with the government of Papua New Guinea."

The four Bougainville parliamentarians will fly to the island on Saturday for urgent talks with other Bougainvillean leaders to set an agenda for the first meeting with the national government.

Community leaders have said that although they accept Mr. Momis as Governor, they would oppose any new changes that would derail the current peace process.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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