Australia deceives Pacific – again
Under Marape, rights getting worse - report

Bougainville ‘dictatorship and suppression’?

John Momis
President John Momis - a Bougainville hero, but is he pushing too hard to assert control or do the difficult times need him?

RICHARD EWART
| Pacific Beat | Australian Broadcasting Corporation

MELBOURNE - Three proposed amendments to the Bougainville constitution are set to be tabled in the provincial parliament, and one in particular is causing consternation in many quarters.

That change would allow the current president, John Momis, to run for an unprecedented third term at the election later this year.

But it's a move that has been condemned as very dangerous by one of the leading figures in the Bougainville peace process.

Martin Miriori, former secretary of both the Bougainville Interim Government and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, says it can only lead to dictatorship and suppression.

President Momis's bid to secure a third term in office appears to have the backing of the MP for South Bougainville in the PNG Parliament, Timothy Masiu.

Mr Masiu argues that the relationship between Mr Momis and prime minister James Marape is important to the progress of consultations on Bougainville's future status.

But Mr Miriori says that's no reason to change the constitution, as Mr Momis could just as easily fulfil the same role as an advisor.

The amendments bill will go out to public consultation before being voted on by MPs, many of whom have already signalled their opposition in social media posts.

News Director at New Dawn FM, Aloysius Laukai, says how they will actually vote in parliament is a matter of conjecture.

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