On 23rd September 2020, Ishmael Toroama, former rebel military commander and leader of Bougainville People’s Alliance Party(BPAP) was elected as the President of Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea(PNG). Replacing the long serving President John Momis, Toroama will take office on 25th September 2020.
About the Election:
i.This is the first General Election of Bougainville since its independence from PNG in December 2019.
ii.Toroama defeated 24 candidates with 48766 votes, under the preferential voting system, the absolute majority has fallen to 39728.
iii.Father Simon Dumarinu, former cabinet minister of PNG, finished 2nd with 30,688 votes.
About Ishmael Toroama:
i.Ishmael Toroama served as the commander of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army(BRA).
ii.He worked towards the peace and disarmament process.
iii.He helped to broker the Bougainville Peace Agreement which was signed in 2001 which played a major role in the disarmament process.
Background of Bougainville’s Independence:
i.Bouganville, a group of Islands in the South Pacific, is an economically developing country which faced a 10 year long civil war (1988 – 1998).
ii.The Bougainville Civil War or Bougainville Conflict was over how to share the profits of the gold and copper mines in Bougainville and the environmental damages due to the mining.
iii.As a part of the peace process a non-binding independence poll was conducted which ended the conflicts of Bougainville.
iv.The referendum provided the people of Bougainville to choose between greater autonomy and full independence and around 98% of the voters (87.4% turnout voters) chose independence of Bougainville from PNG.
Recent Related News:
i.63-years-old Tsai Ing-wen, the current and first female President of Taiwan has been re-elected for a second four-year term of presidency. A representative of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), took the oath on May 20, 2020.
ii.The Republic of Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has appointed Defence Minister Hamed Bakayoko (55 years old) as Prime Minister(PM)after acting as an interim PM since the sudden death of Amadou Gon Coulibaly on July 8, 2020. Hamed Bakayoko will also hold his position as Defence Minister.
Currency– Papua New Guinea kina