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President Toroama: Never compromise independence

Bougainville’s political aspirations on independence must never be compromised if Bougainvilleans wish to fulfill the choice by 97.7% of the people who opted for independence from Papua New Guinea in the 2019 Bougainville Referendum.

The firm statement was issued by Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama during the launching of the Bougainville Constitutional Planning Commission Awareness and Consultations in North, Central and South Bougainville.

“We must never compromise our resolve for an independent Bougainville and settle for anything less than what we voted for in the 2019 Referendum,” President Toroama said.

“Compromise by the past leadership is the reason why Bougainville has remained tethered to Papua New Guinea for the last 70 years,” President Toroama said.

“Bougainville’s political aspirations and economic resources were compromised by these leaders for the benefit of greater PNG,” President Toroama added.

President Toroama said that the compromises of the past will not be the path his government will emulate but vowed that the current Autonomous Bougainville Government will provide the strong leadership necessary to attain independence for Bougainville.

So far the Toroama led ABG has worked hard to create a political pathway that is within the legal framework of the Bougainville Peace Process and the post referendum joint consultations with the national government.

Abiding by this the ABG is in the process of crafting a new Constitution as Bougainville anticipates independence from PNG.

“I urge every Bougainvillean to take part in the constitutional making process to ensure the new Constitution for an Independent Bougainville reflects the true aspirations of our people,” President Toroama said.

“We must make sure our new constitution is homegrown in the sense that we avoid copying foreign political ideals that are not practical on Bougainville,” President Toroama added.

 “The new constitution will determine what type of economic model we want, what type of government we want and guarantee the civil liberties of our people,” President Toroama said.

The Bougainville Constitutional Planning Commission is rolling out its awareness campaign of the constitutional making process which precedes the consultations with the people to gauge their views on how Bougainville’s laws must be framed.

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