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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Oct. 31) – Bougainville’s House of Representatives in Papua New Guinea is set to join more than 16,000 state parliaments as a member of the Commonwealth Parliament Association in 2006.

A happy Speaker of the House of Representatives Nick Peniai was all smiles when this was announced by the Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon last Friday in Buka.

Mr. McKinnon said it was good that Bougainville had become a member of the Commonwealth Parliament Association (CPA) because it would be useful especially to the autonomous government to pick up and learn from the 16,000 state parliaments in finding collective solutions to dealing with their various problems.

"I commend the Speaker and the House for choosing to be part of the big community (of the CPA), which is a great pleasure as Bougainville is moving forward into a new era."

The House of Representatives had approached Mr. McKinnon requesting its intention to join the Association.

Mr. Peniai said the House of Representatives had already been endorsed by the Bougainville Executive Council to pay a yearly registration fee of PGK30,000 (US$10,000). The House has to pay that amount before December to be registered with the Commonwealth Parliament Association.

"By next year the Autonomous Region House of Representatives will be part of the CPA, which is a very significant history on its own," Mr. Peniai said.

"We will be able to involve ourselves in the very important and structural developments to develop our political system and make sure there is a good authority in our parliament."

[PIR editor’s note: Bougainville is located in the northeastern region of Papua New Guinea, its capital is the city of Buka located on the northwest end of Bougainville.]

November 1, 2005

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