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Bougainville’s independence referendum and constitutional implications for Papua New Guinea

Constitutional law Constitutional reform Referendum Self-determination Bougainville Papua New Guinea

The Autonomous Region of Bougainville will hold an independence referendum on 23 November 2019. The options are either ‘greater autonomy’ or ‘independence’. However, the outcome of the referendum is non-binding under the PNG Constitution. Although there is a chance that the PNG Parliament could reject a vote for independence, it is unlikely to trigger another civil war.

The broader successes of the Bougainville Peace Agreement could impact other struggles for self-determination in the Pacific – writes Bal Kama.

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