Monday, December 8, 2008

(In the image above, Bougainville, which is a part of Papua New Guinea, is key and important in the overall Pacific region. The Island nation lays just north and, East of Australia. It plays a role in the world economy and, is important to the shipping lanes of the region.)

One group in central Bougainville will not allow voting until the government pays for late president Kabui's funeral costs.

Another group wants compensation for a dead villager they lost when he assisted police in a failed raid on wanted pyramid scheme operator Noah Musingku.

Pihei also said Bougainville's nationalist faction known as Mekamui, who have candidates running in the election, have been using armed road blocks in the central and south to intimidate and stop voters.

Polling officials in Buka were demanding cash advances before the election can start because in the past they had not been paid, he said.

The election is the first to be held under Bougainville's constitution, another sign that the island is heading towards total independence, expected in a 2015 vote.

The United Nations, Australia and New Zealand have officials in the region monitoring the elections in an informal capacity.

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