Valei told IPS that she would like to see the new President “strengthen good governance, have zero tolerance of corruption, strengthen law and order and advocate for the ratification of Independence from Papua New Guinea”. Bougainville, a group of lush, mineral-rich islands in the South Pacific, has undergone little development since the end of a decade-long civil war that claimed the lives of 20,000 people in 1998. Campaigns for presidential and parliamentary elections are underway in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Bougainville's retiring President, John Momis, called for the maintenance of law and order amid concerns unsuccessful election candidates would cause disruption. Mr Toroama has led the presidential count tally since counting began for the top post in the region. Yet, the PNG Government is known to not favour full secession, preferring the region to remain within a ‘united’ PNG under a form of greater autonomy. “The referendum was a turning point…looking at all the 25 candidates, people were looking for who could deliver and successfully talk about Independence [with the PNG Government],” Aloysius Laukai, Manager of the local New Dawn FM radio station, told IPS. Ishmael Toroama is set to lead the Autonomous Territory independence talks in eastern Papua New Guinea. Aspirations for self-determination in the region pre-date both the civil war and PNG’s Independence. Last week the election results in Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville were announced. No matter who will be the president or members of the 39-seat House of Representatives, a daunting task awaits – meaningfully progressing last December’s 97.7% vote for independence. Looking ahead, economic experts claim that, with a weak economy and heavy dependence on international aid and funding from the national government, Bougainville would face a long period of transition to being an economically viable state, potentially up to 20 years. He said rumours had been circulating unhappy candidates may not accept the results and there could be interference with the vote count. Voting would be for one day for the entire region. All rights reserved. “The referendum was a turning point…looking at all the 25 candidates, people were looking for who could deliver and successfully talk about Independence [with the PNG Government],” Aloysius Laukai, Manager of the local New Dawn FM radio station, told IPS. At one point, ahead of the officials calling the election, Trump was even seen claiming that the vote counts are already in the billionaire business magnate's favour and he has won the said election "by a huge margin". Long and complex negotiations between the PNG and Bougainville governments to agree the region’s new political status will occur over the coming months and years. The National Independent Electoral Commission released the final vote count of the presidential election. Toroama was a commander of the Secessionist Revolutionary Army of Bougainville, and then worked on the peace and disarmament process. Bougainville's youth pursue break from bloody past at presidential vote. Future of Education is here, San Salvador Steps Up Battle against Landslides and Floods, Online Violence, Fueled by Disinformation and Political Attacks, Deeply Harms Women Journalists, How Africa can Lead the World in the COVID-19 Recovery. Laukai claims that “the election was conducted well” and widely accepted as free and fair. “We will do the same for the Bougainville regional seat by-election. There were also two female candidates in the running: Ruby Miringka, a healthcare professional who has also worked for the Bougainville Referendum Commission, and Magdalene Toroansi, a former Bougainville Minister for Women. The campaigning and voting periods were reported as organised and peaceful, in spite of some. PNG’s Prime Minister, James Marape, has voiced his support and respect for the process ahead and the wishes of the Bougainville people. The outcome of this November’s election will be crucial to Palau’s response to the economic crisis, as whoever will win the polls will be confronted by the impacts of COVID-19 well beyond 2020. You have entered an incorrect email address! President Momis said past elections were about forming a government to make developments happen and bring services to the people in the region. “I look forward to working with President-Elect Toroama in progressing consultations on the outcome of the recent referendum and securing long term economic development and a lasting peace for the people of Bougainville,”, Post-War Truth and Justice Still Elusive in Bougainville, Bougainville Women Turn Around Lives of ‘Lost Generation’, A Peaceful Decade but Pacific Islanders Warn Against Complacency, Marape said in a statement issued soon after the election results were announced, Indigenous Leaders want Traditional Knowledge to be Centrepiece of New Global Biodiversity Framework, A Pakistani Farmer is Using Technology to Stop Agricultural Exploitation, Uganda’s School Plan for Refugee Children Could Become a Global Template, Education Cannot Wait. The vote also starts just days after Bougainville registered its first confirmed Covid-19 case when a young student flew into Buka from the mainland.. Your contribution will make a huge difference. There is no deadline for this process, but Toroama has indicated he would like a decision reached within two to three years. The primary count for the Bougainville Presidential Seat has concluded with former BRA commander Ishmael Toroama finishing top with 27,459 votes. Credit: Catherine Wilson/IPS. Bougainville's main town of Buka. Would you consider a $20.00 contribution today that will help to keep the IPS news wire active? Get the latest news coverage, live stream video, and photos on the 2020 Presidential Election. It is now tasked with carrying the autonomous region on a challenging political journey toward the long held local aspiration for nationhood. Toroama also faces huge public expectations to bring about the region’s long held dream of Independence. His victory marks a break with the current administration, led by President John Momis, after the government candidate was eliminated earlier in the region’s preferential voting system. This comes as PNG has now recorded over 200 cases of Covid-19 and 3 people have died. With counting of the northern votes happening through the weekend, Toroama has established a buffer of more than 2200 votes over second placed Father Simon Dumarinu. Former Bougainville Revolutionary Army commander, Ishmael Toroama, is starting to build a substantial lead after count 206 in the presidential vote. “The reason why we say that he is the right person is because, in our Melanesian way of resolving conflicts, if you start the war then you are the one to resolve it,” Valei told IPS, adding that, “he [Toroama] will, of course, need support from very good advisors to lead as President.”. Specific dates are given where these are known. Bougainville’s fourth government will face enormous challenges in the next five-year term to build a weak economy, improve governance and the capacity of institutions, all still in need of reconstruction and development following widespread destruction on the islands during the conflict. About 200,000 eligible voters would participate.” There are 410 polling teams: South Bougainville 120, North Bougainville 172 and Central Bougainville 118. Bougainville hit the world headlines in 1989 when an indigenous landowner uprising against the then Rio-Tinto majority owned Panguna copper mine on Bougainville Island escalated into a civil war which raged on until a ceasefire in 1998. Read headlines covering the presidential debates, results, and more. “I look forward to working with President-Elect Toroama in progressing consultations on the outcome of the recent referendum and securing long term economic development and a lasting peace for the people of Bougainville,” Marape said in a statement issued soon after the election results were announced. [2] Toroama’s rivals for the top office included James Tanis, who held the office of President briefly from 2008 to 2010, another former rebel ex-combatant, Sam Kauona, and local businessman, Fidelis Semoso. Presidential Election In Bougainville. Geraldine Valei, Executive Officer of the Bougainville Women’s Federation, offered another perspective on the overwhelming support Toroama received at the ballot box. The islands of Bougainville, with a population of about 300,000 people, are located more than 900 kilometres east of the PNG mainland. By contrast, the leading opposition presidential candidate, Tundu Lissu, a mere 13 percent, down from 40 percent for the lead 2015 candidate, Edward Lowassa. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 2020 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. The new President was a commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, a guerrilla force which instigated an armed uprising following grievances about the environmental devastation and economic inequity associated with the foreign-owned Panguna mine. Ishmael Toroama continues to extend his lead in the race for the Bougainville Presidential seat. Toroama is on the verge of holding talks for independence.The general election was the first since Bougainville voted overwhelmingly to separate from Papua New Guinea late last year, with Toroama beating an open field, Bougainville’s electoral commissioner said. Bougainville, a group of lush, mineral-rich islands in the South Pacific, has undergone little development since the end of a decade-long civil war that claimed the lives of 20,000 people in 1998. CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region's new … - Terms & Conditions. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The 2020 presidential election was then the first campaign during which Sandu and Dodon ran for office. (2020 Referendum - Updated with Results) In 2012, we reported on Puerto Rico's chances at becoming the a state of the US, after the territory's people sort of voted for that . Live democratic and republican delegate counts, caucuses and primary results by state. Voters across Bougainville start heading to polling stations today [Wednesday August 12th] as a critical regional election gets underway. He led comfortably from the beginning when count started from South Bougainville, the to Central and North Bougainville. Following an almost unanimous 97.7 percent referendum vote in November of last year for Independence from PNG, the people of Bougainville returned to the polls last month to decide on a new government. pic.twitter.com/pZStKQ62S4, – Joseph Nobetau (@JosephNobetau) September 23, 2020. The seat was left vacant after sitting member Joe Lera resigned to contest the Autonomous Bougainville Government presidential election which was conducted earlier this year. President-elect Ishmael Toroama after being declared the winner of the #Bougainville Presidential #election. Former President John Momis, who has led Bougainville for the past 10 years and been a prominent local political leader and figure of stability for more than four decades, bowed out of the race, having served the maximum two terms in office. Toroama is still more than 13,000 votes ahead of the second-placed candidate Fr Simon Dumarinu, while former Bougainville president James Tanis found himself eliminated. As part of the efforts aimed at protecting the votes of the electorate in Nigeria, as well as the mandate of political candidates, the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that it has set up a dedicated public portal, known as “The INEC Result Viewing (IReV),” where Nigerians can view election results, live, from polling units. IPS is an international communication institution with a global news agency at its core, CANBERRA, Australia, Sep 29 2020 (IPS) - Ishmael Toroama, a former revolutionary leader and fighter during the decade long civil war which engulfed the remote islands of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 1990s, has been elected the autonomous region’s new President ahead of high-level talks about its political future. To give some context, Trump was challenging the legitimacy of the vote count that was posted at the end of the 2020 US Elections a little over a month ago. The are both running on a similar platform as before: Maia Sandu runs on a though anti-corruption message, promising closer ties to the European Union. Despite having only one recorded case of COVID-19, to date, the Bougainville government declared a state of emergency in March, which led to the delay of the general election, originally planned during the first half of this year. Toroama also faces huge public expectations to bring about the region’s long held dream of Independence. However, the decisive result of last year’s referendum is non-binding. President-elect Ishmael Toroama after being declared the winner of the #Bougainville Presidential #election . By-elections are excluded, though national referendums are included. [1] A total of 342 candidates contested the election, involving the 33 constituency seats, three seats reserved for women and three seats reserved for former combatants in the Bougainville House of Representatives and the presidency itself. Guinea-Conakry’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced on Saturday the victory of President Alpha Conde in the elections of October 18 with 59.49% of the votes, against 33.50% of his rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, whose party had already denounced "large-scale fraud". Former President John Momis, who has led Bougainville for the past 10 years and been a prominent local political leader and figure of stability for more than four decades, bowed out of the race, having served the maximum two terms in office. This was the first election to be held after the … It is hoped the results will be announced by the middle of September. He will be supported in a caretaker government for the next two weeks by his new Vice President, Patrick Nisira, MP for Halia constituency in North Bougainville, and Therese Kaetavara, Women’s Representative for South Bougainville. Copyright © 2020 IPS-Inter Press Service. This story includes downloadable print-quality images -- Copyright IPS, to be used exclusively with this story. But they are geographically located far from the PNG mainland and the islanders trace their ethnic and cultural kinship instead to the Solomon Islands, an archipelago to the immediate southeast of Bougainville. The final decision will then be ratified by the PNG Parliament. Toroama, who defeated 24 other presidential candidates, is a strategic choice. Thailand: Finance Minister Predee Daochai resigns. Much of the dispute has been disputed over how the profits from the lucrative Panguna gold and copper mine on Bougainville Island should be shared – and over the environmental damage caused by mining. The islands of Bougainville were brought under the umbrella of the new Papua New Guinean nation in 1975. Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected president of Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea, election officials said on Wednesday. He has not been a political leader or served in government administration, although he played a vital role in the peace talks which ended the conflict. The peace agreement, signed in 2001, provided for establishing an autonomous government, which occurred in 2005, and a referendum on the region’s future political status. After a delay in the elections, due to the pandemic, the country has set a date for the presidential election to run from August 12 to September 1. From the outset, it seemed like a repetition of the 2016 presidential election. Laukai claims that “the election was conducted well” and widely accepted as free and fair. Following an almost unanimous 97.7 percent referendum vote in November of last year for Independence from PNG, the people of Bougainville returned to the polls last month to decide on a new government. Copyright © 2020 IPS-Inter Press Service. As of count 102, the former Revolutionary Leader is leading the pool of 25 candidates with 12, 562 votes. N BOUGAINVILLE Bougainville Electoral Commissioner, George Manu, today announced an extension in the counting period for the 2020 Bougainville General Elections. “I, as your mandated President, am ready to take Bougainville forward, focussing on law and order, anti-corruption policies, the [referendum] ratification process and improving the fiscal self-reliance of Bougainville,” Toroama said in a public statement on the occasion of his swearing in as President in the region’s main town of Buka on the Sept. 25. The new President was a commander in the Bougainville Revolutionary Army, a guerrilla force which instigated an armed uprising following grievances about the environmental devastation and economic inequity associated with the foreign-owned Panguna mine. A three-week poll commences in mid-August with results expected by mid-September. In parliamentary elections, 39 nonpartisan members are elected. The 2015 presidential and parliamentary election was held in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville between 11 May and 25 May 2015. “Let us all walk this journey together as one people and one voice to decide our leaders for this next government that will lead us to our ultimate political future that is within the confines of democratic values and international best practice standards,” Momis stated on Aug. 17. As for the presidential election results, official results announced by the NEC give incumbent CCM presidential candidate, John Magufuli, 84 percent, up from 58 percent in 2015. Acting electoral commissioner Simon Sinai confirmed that the Government had approved K15 million for the by-election and preparations were progressing well in collaboration with the Bougainville Electoral Commission. Innovations in Israel: Coronavirus Vaccine 4 Years Ahead. Papua New Guinea: In presidential elections in Bougainville held from August 12 to September 1, Ishmael Toroama wins with 61.4% of the vote against 38.6% for Simon Dumarinu after the final elimination of other candidates. raising the voices of the South and civil society on issues of development, globalisation, human rights and the environment His achievements include serving in the national parliament, playing a major role in the region’s peace negotiations and serving as Bougainville’s governor after the conflict from 1999 to 2005. However, the decisive result of last year’s, PNG’s Prime Minister, James Marape, has voiced his support and respect for the process ahead and the wishes of the Bougainville people. While also a pro-Independence advocate, Momis, a former Roman Catholic priest with extensive experience in peacetime politics, is a contrasting figure to Toroama. Dumarinu has increased his lead over the next group of candidates – Tsiamalili, Raivet, and Semoso – to 11,000. Last year’s non-binding independence ballot was part of the peace process that ended the conflict, although competing claims remain over development rights for the long-closed mine. He has not been a political leader or served in government administration, although he played a vital role in the peace talks which ended the conflict. Talks at the national level will be informed by input from local forums in Bougainville, comprising representatives of communities, ex-combatants, business leaders, women and youths. This is an updated and expanded version of that article, fully revised for next week's new Puerto Rico statehood referendum. THE 2020 Bougainville’s General Election is unique unlike past elections because it is about Bougainville making a bold decision to become free says Honorable President Grand Chief Dr. John Momis. The field then mushroomed into an unprecedented more than 400 candidates vying for 40 parliamentary seats and 25 hopefuls for the presidency. 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More recently, he has been a. Geraldine Valei, Executive Officer of the Bougainville Women’s Federation, offered another perspective on the overwhelming support Toroama received at the ballot box. Toroama is sworn in on September 25. Speaking at a media conference this afternoon, Mr Manu says with the current counting phase, there is insufficient time to complete the scrutiny and counting process as per the initial election schedule. Find the latest news, photos and videos from the 2020 United States presidential election. All rights reserved. At the September 22 primary election, two of the four presidential candidates vying for the presidential post won the opportunity to face each other at the November 3 general elections. The campaigning and voting periods were reported as organised and peaceful, in spite of some alleged cases of misplaced voting papers. Alluding to the stakes ahead, Momis called for unity as voters turned out to cast their ballots from Aug. 12 to Sept. 1. 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