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Premier blasts DPP bid for Nuke 4 referendum

TAIPEI -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah Friday blasted the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as “very irresponsible” for pushing for a national referendum on the fourth nuclear power plant that would seek to bypass strict legal requirements.

The DPP plan would promote a special statute to allow a referendum on the controversial project to pass with a simple majority vote. The Referendum Act requires participation from half of all the nation's eligible voters for a plebiscite to be valid.

Jiang argued that under the DPP proposal revealed Wednesday, the referendum would be considered valid even if only three people cast their votes, in which case only two votes would be needed to support or oppose the nuclear plant.

“Such a simple majority vote without any kind of threshold is tailor-made for the particular issue that the DPP wants to pass, a very reckless and irresponsible (move),” he told reporters.

He criticized the party for an apparently “arbitrary and inconsistent” double standard, singling out another proposal by DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu that would require all agreements signed with China to be put to a stringent referendum.

“When they want an issue to pass a referendum, they lower the threshold. And when they want to have an issue killed, they raise the threshold. This is simply treating referendums like a game,” he said.

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