A former leader of a former Australian colony has been elected to head Papua New Guinea’s newly-created Bougainville government.

Joseph Kabuka served as president of the former British colony for 15 years before the CPM party at the time assumed power in the country in May.

Papua New Guinea’s government says the country’s Congress will be formed in a few weeks’ time.

It said Kabuka was chosen because of his “international stature, strong leadership, public administration expertise and position as a consensus builder”.

He is credited with ushering in political reforms in Bougainville, paving the way for UN-backed negotiations with the separatists who now claim legitimacy.

The Bougainville Government says if both parties involved sign the agreement on October 11 it will be official.

The United Nations has stopped military operations against the rebel groups after a ceasefire began in early August.

The federal and provincial leaders of Bougainville have agreed to strengthen law and order to prevent further attacks.