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Bougainville Referendum Commission (BRC) Chief Referendum Officer Mauricio Claudio in Tuesday's press conference in Port Moresby said the BRC is ready.
He said “Over 1,500 BRC polling officials trained and ready to operate polling places over a two weeks period: 800 locations in AROB, 23 in PNG and Gizo, Honiara (Solomon Islands) Brisbane and Cairns (Australia)
He also added that polling is not at all locations for two weeks; people need to check the polling schedule online, by SMS or with Ward officers and know when and where to vote.
Meanwhile, the Autonomous Bougainville Government will deploy more than 30 public servants as scrutineers for the Bougainville referendum.
The scrutineers will be sent to other provinces in Papua New Guinea and to Australia and Solomon Islands.
The Acting Secretary for the Department of Peace Agreement Implementation, Dennis Kuiai explained in a media conference, that scrutineers are critical to ensure a credible conduct and outcome of the referendum process.
“The scrutineers will play a critical role in terms of ensuring compliance with the process of conducting the referendum which will ensure greater credibility of the referendum result,” he said.
Kuiai described this as a key milestone in Bougainville’s journey of implementing the peace agreement.
“This marks another milestone for ABG in implementing the Boguainville Peace Agreement, that we are now at the last leg and we know that we will succeed in making sure that we deliver a credible referendum with a result that will be peacefully accepted and respected,” he said.
He further emphasised the ABG’s expectations to the selected public servants who will be engaged as scrutineers
“We expect you to work as scrutineers, not as public servants. You are going as scrutineers of an interest group, and that interest group is the ABG.”
Meanwhile, the Bougainville Referendum Commission has recently completed training and accreditation for scrutineers who will be engaged in the polling and counting period.
Scrutineers engaged in the Bougainville Referendum have no formal role in campaigning. Their primary role is to ensure that the polling and counting process is credible.
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