One estimate cited by the Lowy Institute says Bougainville would only have 56% of the revenue needed to be self-reliant. The Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) acknowledged the significance of the election and the decisive steps ahead: “We thank the two governments of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, and the people of the Bougainville for their outstanding participation in this historic process – one part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement. Voters had two options - more autonomy, or full independence. Nevertheless, the landslide victory will put pressure on PNG to grant Bougainville independence. However, the outcome of the referendum is non-binding under the PNG Constitution. Of the 181,000 ballots, almost 98% were in favour of independence. In total, 181,067 ballots were cast. A majority of voters selected independence, at 97.7 percent of the vote, with less than 3 percent of voters choosing greater autonomy. VideoThe refugees feeding a nation, playThe biggest selling single of all time. The result, however, is non-binding, and there have been suggestions that PNG may not be supportive of Bougainville’s secession. The Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a chain of islands that lie 959 kilometres northwest of Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, has voted unequivocally for independence. What Bougainville lacks at this point, though, is an international network of sympathisers and activists capable of mobilising opinion to support its cause. "You see my tears - this is the moment we have been waiting for," she said. It was a nonbinding referendum. Bougainville Votes For Independence From Papua New Guinea In Referendum The Pacific island group called Bougainville voted for independence from Papua New Guinea. Bougainvilleans celebrate at the opening ceremony of the Bel Isi Park regional polling place in Buka Town, Bougainville, on November 23, 2019. 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Millions of Americans face jobless benefits lapse, Selling it as a big win on both sides of the Channel, A scene in The Pianist changed Arson Fahim's life, 'We turned 90, moved in together - then got the vaccine', Everything you need to know about Netflix's Bridgerton, The unique global odyssey sparked by a stranger’s revelation, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playThe family who go all out on their Christmas cards. In the referendum vote, almost 98% of voters backed independence, with just over 2% voting to remain part of Papua New Guinea with ‘greater autonomy’. Courtesy the artist. Voters had two options – more autonomy, or full independence. The nearly unanimous results in the Pacific islands chain exceeded expectations and could both accelerate independence and complicate relations across the region. An island group that's part of Papua New Guinea is about to vote on independence. The 98% result is above pre-referendum predictions - most experts expected the figure to be around 75% - 80%. Video, The family who go all out on their Christmas cards, The biggest selling single of all time. Members of … Following the voting, 97.7% of its residents voted in favor of independence. This site remains as an archive of all BRC public information regarding the conduct of the Bougainville referendum. The options are either ‘greater autonomy’ or ‘independence’. VideoRisking lives for Christmas trees, playThe refugees feeding a nation. The referendum is part of the Bougainville Peace Agreement, which was achieved after a long and arduous process to end a decade of conflict and civil unrest between 1988 and 1998. When the overwhelming result for independence … ABG President John Momis stated, “We are all full of expectations and hope. With 87.4 percent* turnout, voting in the Bougainville referendum – conducted from November 23 through December 7 – concluded with the announcement of results on December 11. Voters had two options - more autonomy, or full independence. Although the PNG government was against independence, and does not have to accept the result, the huge mandate will make it hard to ignore. A decade-long civil war in the 1990s, often referred to as the ‘Bougainville crisis’ (those familiar with the Lloyd Jones novel Mr Pip will recognise the setting) devastated the region. The people of Bougainville have chosen overwhelmingly to become the world's newest nation in a historic referendum to break away from Papua New Guinea. For more information, see our Privacy Policy. Bougainville Votes For Independence From Papua New Guinea In Referendum The Pacific island group called Bougainville voted for independence from Papua New Guinea. The PNG Parliament will have the final say. Last December the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, an area in Papua New Guinea (PNG), voted in a referendum for independence, a move motivated by a history of violence and conflict. We recognize the Referendum has been a national event, and so also acknowledge and thank the people of Papua New Guinea.”, In a statement issued following the announcement of referendum results, PNG Prime Minister James Marape recognized, “The conduct of the vote was excellent. Independence referendum to be held in Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville Off the coast of Queensland, a historic vote is taking place … The referendum was non-binding, which means negotiations must now be held between the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville. Three people are injured in the blast and possible human remains are later found near the site. Nashville camper van explodes in 'intentional act'. Polling was peaceful and festive with musical performances and celebrations welcoming voters and the community to the polls. The referendum was approved by the Papua New Guinea government, and, although it's non-binding, the decisive vote will likely compel Papua New Guinea to grant Bougainville independence … The people of Bougainville have just voted for independence. One Bougainvillian, nursing graduate Alexia Baria, told news agency AFP that "happiness was an understatement". Read about our approach to external linking. The referendum is a key element of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), which, following a ten-year armed conflict, provided for special autonomy and a vote on independence to be held within 10-15 years. Bougainville will hold a referendum on independence within the 5 Zhang next 15 years, leading to an autonomous government in 2005.Bougainville will become the world's youngest country when it holds a referendum on independence on June 15, 2019, backed by a majority due to prolonged hostilities. The PNG minister for Bougainville affairs, Puka Temu, said "the outcome is a credible one" - but asked that voters "allow the rest of Papua New Guinea sufficient time to absorb this result". The family who go all out on their Christmas cards. © 2020 BBC. As Bougainville prepares for a referendum on independence, Australia must navigate a policy response that acknowledges the history of conflict and colonialism there, Bougainville nationalism, PNG sensitivities, the principles of the guiding Bougainville Peace Agreement and new geostrategic realities to help forge a lasting solution. 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