Bougainville to hold two long-delayed byelections due to deaths of members

Bougainville's capital Buka
Bougainville's capital Buka . . . byelections delayed by lack of funding. Image: RNZ Pacific/AFP

RNZ Pacific

The autonomous government in the Papua New Guinea region of Bougainville is finally organising byelections next month in two seats that have been without representation for many months.

The elections, in Nissan and Haku constituencies, will be held on February 22, with nominations set to close tomorrow.

The Nissan seat has been vacant since July 2021, after then-Health Minister Charry Napto and his wife and child were among seven people lost at sea when a banana boat carrying them disappeared.

The Haku seat became vacant after the death of Xavier Kareku in March last year.

The writs were issued by the Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Simon Pentanu, in Buka on Tuesday.

Pentanu said he was happy to issue the writs so that the people can exercise their democratic rights and he called on candidates to campaign peacefully and let the people decide the leaders of their choice.

Acting Electoral Commissioner George Manu said the delay was due to a lack of funding.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ. 

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