The process is way for the possible introduction a new member to the global family nations. The people of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea have voted overwhelmingly independence in a referendum. The vote was held the island between the 23rd November and the 7th of December. The vote was a non-binding referendum, which means the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government does not have to pass it law. However, PNG gave the vote its full consent and should now consider acting the result the vote. Voters had two options - greater autonomy or full independence. Over 181,000 people cast their ballot and nearly 98 per cent of them voted favour of independence.
Bougainville is the largest island the PNG chain of islands. It is geographically part of the Solomon Islands archipelago and used to be known as the Republic of North Solomons. It has a population of 250,000 people. Bougainvilleans started a fight to achieve their independence the 1960s. This was a decade Papua New Guinea was granted independence 1975. Bougainville was declared part of PNG in 1976. This sparked the Bougainville Civil War 1988–1998. Over 20,000 people lost their lives that conflict. The Prime Minister of PNG said: "I ask some time the people PNG to absorb and process this result." He said his government was committed to adhering to the poll's result.