PNG – Bougainville

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The Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) is part of Papua New Guinea. Following the end of the twenty year conflict, a new constitution and electoral system were devised for the newly autonomous region in 2002. The 2004 Constitution of ARB has guided the region for the last 15 years.

The 2004 Constitution included three seats in the new legislature that would be reserved for women (and three seats would also be reserved for ex-combatants). It was further decided that the seats would be elected directly by the people. Both women and men are allowed to vote for all seats. Bougainville has 33 constituencies to elect ordinary members. The province is also divided into 3 bigger constituencies – North, Central and South – and these are used for the 3 seats reserved for women and ex-combatants. Each voter casts 3 votes for representatives in the Legislative Assembly – one for their local MP, one for the reserved woman’s seat and one for the reserved ex-combatant’s seat.

In 2019, a referendum was held in ARB to decide its long-term future. The two options presented were independence or some form of “greater autonomy”. The Region voted overwhelmingly for independence. The ARB Government subsequently entered into a period of negotiations to determine how the vote will be implemented in practice. During this period, ARB’s current Constitution has required that an election is held, as ARB has elections every 5 years. The election for a new President and ARB Parliament will be held from 12 August 2020 with voting to continue until 1 September 2020.


No Women MPs

No Women MPs