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Su seeks Hau's support on referendum bill

TAIPEI--Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang called on Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin Sunday morning to seek his support for DPP's proposal to hold a referendum on Taiwan's fourth nuclear plant.

During a photo session before the meeting, Su, who was defeated by Hau in the mayoral election three years ago, lauded the KMT mayor as a pragmatic political leader and spoke of his high respect for him.

Noting that former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung is to begin a hunger strike on April 22 to press for the scrapping of the nearly completed fourth nuclear plant, Su said such actions might prompt social disturbances if the issue of the nuclear plant is not permanently resolved.

He said his party's bill to hold a referendum on the plant, which is not tied to any elections and seeks approval through a simple majority, presents an uncomplicated solution to the problem, but it needs the support of leaders of different political parties, including the Taipei mayor.

For his part, the mayor said Su's meeting with him is the first step toward political reconciliation between different political camps.

Located within a 30 km radius of the fourth nuclear plant, Hau said the capital city has a greater reason to be concerned about the safety of the nuclear plant than other cities on the island.

Citing previous opinion polls, Hau said two out of three, or three out of four, Taipei residents opposed the operation of the plant before it was proven to be safe, adding that the city must have a say in any resolution of the issue.

Hau said that he and Su did not agree on all aspects of the issue, but dialogue is the first step to sort out their differences and he hoped their meeting would have positive results.

In related news, New Taipei Mayor Eric Liluan Chu said yesterday he will meet with an opposition party leader to discuss the controversial fourth nuclear plant this week.

Chu made his remarks as Su was seeking to garner support for a bill for a referendum on the plant.

Chu told CNA in an interview that he would exchange views with Su on the development of nuclear power on the island, as well.

The remarks came shortly after Su visited Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin earlier the same day to seek his support for a DPP-proposed law on a referendum on the nearly completed plant in New Taipei.

Hau told CNA after the meeting that he was strongly opposed to the fourth plant becoming operational before authorities could guarantee its safety.

Last week, Chu, who governs an area that already houses two nuclear plants, said if the authorities cannot ensure the safety of the plant, it will not be allowed to become operational and there will be no question of a referendum on the plant.

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Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang, right, and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin converse at a joint press conference in Taipei, yesterday.

(CNA)

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