KMT legislator pulls Nuke 4 referendum proposal
By Lauly Li,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) yesterday that he intends to withdraw a referendum bill on the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
The bill was scheduled to be processed in the upcoming legislative session.
Lee, who had proposed the bill, sent a text message to local press yesterday afternoon saying that current tumult in the political scene — referring to legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) alleged involvement in illegal lobbying — will “definitely” effect the Legislature.
The fate of Nuke 4 concerns the interests of the entire country and therefore the referendum bill must be processed when the Presidential Office, the Cabinet and the Legislature can work together harmoniously, Lee said.
He said that aside from current political dynamics, the Cabinet recently announced that the results of a safety examination of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant would not be released before the referendum bill was scheduled to be read a third time and voted on.
Lee said that in light of this he decided to officially withdraw the bill, adding that “the timing is not right” to deal with the Nuke 4 issue.
Lee's referendum question was: “Do you agree to halt Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction and prevent it from becoming operational?”
KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池) said that Lee did not inform the party before publicly announcing the bill's withdrawal, and that the KMT is currently communicating with Lee and trying to better understand the situation.
The Legislature will still need to approve the proposal's withdrawal even if Lee submits a written request to do so, as the bill has already passed it second reading, Lin said.
Spokesman Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demands President Ma Ying-jeou permanently scrap construction of the plant immediately.
DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said the party appreciates that Lee is willing to withdraw the bill, especially given that the Ministry of Economic Affairs recently said Nuke 4's safety test results will not be made public until June 2014.
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmaker Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said that as the circumstances of the upcoming legislative session are currently unknown, it is inappropriate to schedule a review of the Nuke 4 referendum bill.
Hsu added that the TSU agrees with Lee's decision on the matter.