PRESS RELEASE - An election observation team from the Pacific Islands Forum will travel to Bougainville for the upcoming General Election from 7-24 May 2010. This is the second time the Forum will observe the Bougainville election having sent a team to observe the first election in 2005.

Acting Forum Secretary General Mr Feleti Teo expressed the Forum's appreciation for the opportunity to observe the election, adding that the Forum recognises "elections observation as an important good governance exercise, which is furthermore commensurate with Forum Leaders' objectives under the Pacific Plan".

"The invitation to the international community by the Government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, conveyed to the Forum Secretariat by the Government of Papua New Guinea, to observe the election is an indication of their collective commitment to a stable and prosperous future for Bougainville," Mr Teo said.

"Elections are an important part of the peace building process, in accordance with the Bougainville Peace Agreement 2001, which the Pacific Islands Forum commends and is pleased to support."

The Forum Election Observation Team will be led by Senior Electoral Officer in the Vanuatu Electoral Commission, Mr Martin Tete, who will be supported by two officials from the Forum Secretariat.