THE presence of observer organizations during any Autonomous Bougainville Government-sanctioned elections in Bougainville will always be appreciated by the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC).
One of the reasons behind this is that the reports and recommendations from these observer organizations regarding the conduct of respective elections can be taken into consideration by OBEC to further improve and strengthen the democratic electoral process in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.
The last time that a large contingent of election observers was in Bougainville-both domestic and international, was during the 2015 ABG General Elections. Their reports and recommendations on the general conduct of that election have enabled OBEC to identify areas that needed improvements in future elections.
OBEC was again able to accredit two Bougainville based non-government organizations in June this year as observers for the Bougainville Urban Community Government Elections.
The Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency (LNWDA) and the Bougainville Women’s Federation (BWF) were supported with sponsorship assistance from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), a US-based non-profit organization that is currently providing technical assistance to OBEC, the ABG Department of Peace Agreement and Implementation and the Bougainville Referendum Commission.
LNWDA was conducting its observations in the Buka and Kokopau urban areas while BWF observers were stationed in the Arawa and Buin urban areas.
Following the completion of their observation period, both observer organizations will be expected to forward their observation reports to OBEC.