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June 23, 2017

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Su, Jiang fail to reach agreement on Nuke 4

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Following a visit to the mayor of Taipei on Sunday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday visited Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) at the Executive Yuan and discussed controversial the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant issue.

Jiang and Su, however, were not able to reach an agreement on how to solve the long-standing dispute over the nuclear power plant during their 90-minute meeting.

During a joint press conference, Jiang told reporters that Su asked him if the Executive Yuan could issue an executive order to cease construction on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which is also known colloquially as Nuke 4.

It would be difficult for the Executive Yuan to give such an order "one-sidedly," Jiang explained.

Su, on the other hand, said if issuing an executive order is not a feasible solution, perhaps Jiang could support the DPP caucus' draft bill, which if passed will allow the nation to decide the power plant's fate through a referendum.

Su stressed that he is willing to listen to the opinions of those who find parts of the draft bill unfeasible, adding that the purpose of his visit to the Executive Yuan is to solve problems.

Su went on to say that he does not intend to argue who made the right decisions and who made the wrong decisions regarding the nation's energy policies, adding that the people of Taiwan are racing against time in terms of the nuclear power issue and that the government needs to arrive at a solution as soon as possible.

Su said that he is willing to talk to President Ma Ying-jeou in person if the administration is interested in dealing with the problem.

The premier responded to Su's proposal by saying that a separation of powers exists between the executive and legislative branches of government, and that he will respect the ruling party caucus' position on the DPP proposal.

Jiang noted, however, that he will relay Su's ideas to the president as soon as possible.

The premier said that the Executive Yuan's position on energy policy remains the same, noting that if the three operational nuclear power plants are to be shut down as scheduled, Nuke 4 has to be activated; otherwise, the country will face a power shortage as well as subsequent electricity price hikes.

If the country decides to stop Nuke 4 construction, then Nuke 1, 2 and 3 operations have to be extended in order to meet Taiwan's electricity demand, Jiang said.

Premier on Referendum Threshold

Jiang said that during his meeting with Su, the two of them discussed the possibility of lowering the threshold on the minimum voter turnout for referendums.

The premier said that the Executive Yuan supports keeping the threshold stipulated in the Referendum Act, namely the requirement that at least half of the nation's eligible voters need to take part in order for the referendum to take effect, and that more than half of those voters need to cast the same vote in order to achieve an effective result.

A controversial issue that involves in the nation's major energy policy should not be determined by a simple majority requirement, Jiang said.

Premier on Planned Hunger Strike

Commenting on former DPP chairman Lin Yi-xiong's (林義雄) planned hunger strike, which is expected to begin today, Jiang said that he is willing to pay Lin a visit in order to personally explain the administration's nuclear energy policy.

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