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BCPC awareness underway across Bougainville

Bougainville Constitutional Planning Commission (BCPC) Secretariat is currently conducting awareness on the Constitutional Planning Commission (CPC) across all three regions of North, Central and South Bougainville.

This civic awareness is to inform Bougainvilleans on the role of the BCPC, the need for a sovereign constitution and the citizens’ responsibility in the constitution making process.

The role of the CPC is to consult and gage views from the public to draft a new constitution for an independent state of Bougainville.

The Commission is tasked to discuss with the people, ask questions and obtain their views on what type of constitution they want, ensure constitution is homegrown, arrange public hearings and receive written submission from the people, prepare a draft constitution and complete a draft constitution by the first quarter of 2025.

The awareness is the first phase of public consultations in framing a new home grown constitution for the sovereign independent nation of Bougainville and to prepare Bougainvilleans to participate constructively in shaping a new Bougainville responsibility.

According to the awareness, the commission is expected to start consultations in June this year and will be using five methods to carry out these public consultations:

  • Civic Awareness
  • Public Meetings and Dialogue
  • Conduct a stakeholders workshop for the first draft constitution
  • Conduct public hearing
  • Receive written submissions from groups and individuals

In order to gage views from the public to create this new constitution, the Secretariat through the Department of Justice and Legal Services had proposed some guiding questions that are relevant to get feedback from what type of constitution and government the people of Bougainville may want and these questions include:

  • What is your vision of an independent Bougainville?
  • What do you want to see in your autochthonous (home-grown) constitution?
  • What are the main features of the democratic government suitable for governing independent Bougainville?
  • What type of government will best serve the needs and wishes of the people of an independent Bougainville?

The BEC has also set a timeframe for the commission to deliver this constitution.

The timeframe states that in 2022, the Commission is expected to consult and prepare a first draft constitution, approve the first draft and carryout workshop on the first draft.

By 2023, the Commission should prepare, screen and approve the second draft, carry out second citizens’ consultation and prepare a third draft.

In 2024, a final draft will be prepared; BEC and National Parliament will consider the final draft, Bougainville Constituent Assembly adopts new Constitution and in 2025 Bougainville declares itself as a new independent sovereign nation.

Secretariat teams in North, Central and South Bougainville are expected to complete the civic awareness this month and Commissioners will begin consultations next month.

Civic Awareness and consultation for Nissan/Atolls and Torokina will be done same time when both the secretariat and the commissioners visit these regions next month.

All citizens are urged to be at the awareness locations and times mentioned on the local radio stations in order to get more information and participate meaningfully towards this constitutional making process.

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