BUKA - The Autonomous Bougainville Government is set to change its name to the Bougainville Constitutional Transitional Government to reflect the people’s vote for independence.
Bougainville’s post referendum minister Albert Punghau told The National newspaper that because 98% of Bougainvilleans had voted in favour of independence in last year’s referendum, the Bougainville government felt the need to change its name to reflect the overwhelming result.
“The name change by the Bougainville’s government is based entirely on the virtue of the majority of the Bougainvilleans who have voted for independence,” Mr Punghau said.
“Bougainville Constitutional Transitional Government reflects Bougainville as the name of our island, the constitution that governs us and the transition we are making to independence.”
He said the leaders were now mandated to consult on independence and will also amend the constitution to reflect the name change.
“The people have voted out greater autonomy and [voted for] a clear mandate on independence.
“This has given us the duty to consult over independence and nothing else,” he said.
“The transition government which will be formed after the 2020 election in June will be the government that will acquire all the powers from the former government it will be the government that will take on consultations and ratifications.”
Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand reports that, even though some groups in Bougainville push for the resumption of mining at Panguna, a Bougainvillean Papua New Guinea cabinet minister is calling for the government to focus on other economic activities.
MP for South Bougainville Tim Masiu said for him mining is a "no go at the moment."
"I would like to see the Autonomous Bougainville Government refocus itself on the land,” Mr Masiu said.
“Agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry are some of the things that we could be doing.
“Mining is a lazy way of raising money. It has already brought some problems," he said.