020517NA TO ADVANCE BOUGAINVILLE
By Wesly Bunpalau
A NATIONAL ALLIANCE (NA) government will advance Bougainville’s right to self-determination as stipulated in the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
National Alliance candidate for South Bougainville and sitting Member, Timothy Masiu said no authority, government or individual can stop Bougainville from attaining independence if the people desire during the referendum in 2019.
Mr Masiu has been consistently sounding out the message in recent times and reiterated the same when he was asked to clear the National Alliance’s stance following media reports quoting Sir Michael Somare as saying he did not want Bougainville to break from PNG.
Other candidates are using Sir Michael’s media comments as a campaign issue against the National Alliance.
But Mr Masiu assured people in Siwai that the NA was the only part with an official policy platform on Bougainville, which will become official government policy if NA forms government, which he declared he was confident NA will.
“We (NA) will form government and we will ensure we address the Bougainville issue and Bougainville’s rights to self-determination,” Mr Masiu told people at Duisei village sports ground on Saturday in reply to a questions on Somare’s comments.
“I am contesting the elections under NA and there are three other candidates contesting the regional, central and north Bougainville seats because we want to for a team that can stand together and give prominence to Bougainville.
“We will link with and involve the ABG Government so that it can become a key player in debates and discussions on Bougainville because it has been a spectator long enough,” said Mr Masiu.
He told the people Somare’s comments has retired from politics and his comments were personal views were neither government nor NA policies and urged the people to judge candidates on plans and visions as well as official party policies and not petty issues.