Organizers rule out political speeches at anti-nuclear power demonstrations
CNATAIPEI--Anti-nuclear rallies scheduled to take place March 9 around Taiwan will be led by civic groups rather than political parties and no politicians will be allowed to make speeches at the events, one of the organizing groups said Sunday.
March 4, 2013, 12:26 am TWN
Politicians can participate in the parades, but they will not be allowed to speak on stage, said Tsui Su-hsin, secretary-general of the Green Citizens' Action Alliance.
To call attention to the dangers of nuclear power, the alliance and other groups will organize rallies in Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Taitung ahead of the second anniversary of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster of 2011 in Japan.
They will advocate against providing additional budget for Taiwan's under-construction Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, call on the removal of radioactive waste from Taiwan's outlying Orchid Island and demand the immediate closure of the country's other ageing nuclear plants.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang will respect the organizers' arrangements and will not speak on stage, the party said. Former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen will also maintain a low profile during the parade, according to sources.
Tsui said that if political parties are sincere in playing a role in anti-nuclear issues, they should revise the country's referendum act to lower the requirement for referendums to pass.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah said in late February that the government is willing to accept a referendum on the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project, but Taiwan's opposition and civic groups have protested the high requirements for a referendum to pass.
Under the Referendum Act, a proposal of referendum is adopted only if the number of voters reaches more than half of the total eligible voters in the country, municipality, city or county that puts forth the referendum, and more than half of the valid ballots are in agreement with the topic of the referendum.
Tsui also urged the government to give referendum votes in some places more weight than others and to ensure open disclosure of information and equal access to promotion during the referendum voting.
Meanwhile, a southern Taiwan anti-nuclear action alliance said Sunday that several Golden Melody Award-winning singers will participate in an anti-nuclear rally in Kaohsiung March 9.
The alliance hopes the rally will attract the participation of the public to cement support for a referendum, said Lee Ken-cheng, executive director of Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan, one of the other groups that form the alliance.
He said the alliance hopes to attract over 15,000 people to the rallies. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu is expected to join the parade.