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BCPC concludes consultations in Bougainville

Bougainville Constitutional Planning Commission (BCPC) concluded the first consultations in Bougainville and presented their report to the draftsman’s representative yesterday.

Chairman of the Commission and ABG President Hon. Ishmael Toroama received the regional reports from Commissioners in the North, Central, and South Bougainville in a brief presentation yesterday before making the official handover to Mr. Joe Kudada Junior, a representative of the draftsman.

“Bougainville have reached the pinnacle of their time and have voted for 97.7% on independence and the consultation was not easy but you had done your best to compile these. At the end of the day, the clock is ticking so I want to present these submissions to the draftsman representative,” President Toroama said.

“I thank you all and also acknowledge Attorney General for putting a push despite the funding constraints but I can understand that it is our project, the people’s project and we must not delay the time, we are working on behalf of the people.”

President Toroama added that as Chairman he will present the submissions that the commissioners have completed during the first phase and this will begin the first draft.

The submissions from within Bougainville will enable the draftsman to start working on the first draft of the constitution.

The BCPC was launched last year with a vision to consult the people of Bougainville to gage their views on creating an autochthonous or homegrown constitution and 40 commissioners had traveled out to the North, Central, and South regions to consult the people since the launch.

According to the reports presented yesterday, consultations sought the views of the people on the type of government system they wanted, the name of the independent country to be, what type of currency, citizenship, and immigration concerns amongst others.

The Commissioners assisted by the technical support staff of the BCPC Secretariat visited all the districts and constituencies in North, Central, South Bougainville and Nissan/Atolls and received verbal and written submissions from the people.

These submissions were compiled by each regional team and handed over to President Hon. Ishmael Toroama who presented the submissions to Mr. Joe Kudada Junior.

Mr. Kudada received the submissions on behalf of the draftsman and they will be working on the first draft.

ABG Vice President and Alternate Chairman of the BCPC Hon. Patrick Nisira also acknowledged the commissioners for the completion of the first consultation within the region.

He stressed that the significance of the work they were doing was about setting a foundation to create the laws that a society aspires to be and that was the role of the commission.

“Our people want to be an independent country one day and we will continue to work with the government to set the laws that will guide them as a society,” Mr. Nisira said.

 “Quality of the work we do will determine the quality of the constitution of AROB,” Mr. Nisira said.

Meanwhile the consultations with Bougainvilleans living outside of Bougainville are expected to begin next month.

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