Cabinet insists on legitimacy of referendum
By Ann Yu,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet's Secretary-General stated in a written report yesterday that a referendum on the future of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was initiated by lawmakers, which is in accordance to the law.
March 17, 2013, 12:31 am TWN
Amid accusations from opposition parties that the Cabinet violated the Referendum Act in initiating a referendum, Secretary-General Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) insisted that the Cabinet did not nor did they entrust fellow lawmakers to propose a referendum for Nuke 4.
According to the Referendum Act, administrative organs are restricted from carrying out a referendum or commissioning any organization to do so. Related personnel to any administrative organ doing so may be sentenced to more than six months prison.
The legislative committee has invited Chen to explain the written reports on Monday. The reports focus on the legitimacy of the Nuke 4 referendum proposal and drafted plans for absentee ballots.
The report explains that administrative organs are restricted from launching any referendums to avoid damage to the people.
Reports said that Democratic Party Progressive lawmakers Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) have filed petitions to the Control Yuan against Premier Jiang Yi-huah, requesting officials closely inspect whether Jiang has violated Referendum Act regulations.
Amid debate over the launch of Nuke 4, President Ma Ying-jeou repeated yesterday that the government will ensure the safety of Nuke 4 before beginning operations.
“The government will also provide sufficient information and accurate statistics related to Nuke 4 for the citizens to make their decision at the referendum,” he said.
At a press conference yesterday, Ma stressed that Taiwan now faces two options — terminate all nuclear power immediately or ensure the safety of nuclear power while slowly phasing out the energy.
“It is a matter that concerns the entire nation,” he said. “Since everyone has their own perspective on Nuke 4, it would be more suitable for the entire nation to decide on the fate of the plant through a referendum.”
The government is responsible for making sure the nuclear plant is safe prior to launch, but they also need to consider what measures to take if in fact the plant is terminated, Ma said.
In terms of the nuclear topic, Yang Feng-she (楊豐碩), director of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, explained that terminating Nuke 4 may not necessarily affect Taiwan's energy supply.
“Scraping Nuke 4 would not immediately cause a blow to Taiwan's energy supplies,” he said, “And Taiwan still has 10-15 years to adjust its power consumption structure before the phase-out of Nukes 1-3.”