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Nuke 4 issue can't be decided by individuals or NGOs: Jiang

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said the issue of whether or not the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant can be operational as scheduled cannot be decided by an individual or a particular group, noting that the nation has to come to a wider consensus.

After participating in the morning plenary session at the Legislative Yuan, Jiang visited former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lin Yi-xiong (林義雄) who started a hunger strike to demand that the government stop the construction of the power plant immediately.

Given that Lin previously said he will remain silent when going on hunger strike, Jiang did not talk to Lin in person. Jiang talked to a pastor surnamed Chiu at the Gikong Presbyterian Church — where Lin's hunger strike is taking place — and said he hopes Chiu can tell Lin that both he and President Ma Ying-jeou are concerned about his health.

Jiang said “we are reluctant to see Lin going on hunger strike,” noting that “we hope Lin can seek other democratic ways to express his demand.”

Premier on Nuke 4 Issue

The premier went on to talk about the issue of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, colloquially known as Nuke 4, saying that based on a cross-caucus resolution made last year, a referendum concerning the power plant should be held before installing the fuel rods.

Nuke 4 is currently undergoing safety examinations, Jiang said, noting that after the examinations are completed, the Atomic Energy Council (AEC) will inspect the examination results.

Only when the AEC finishes ratifying the examination results will society then face the issue of whether or not to install fuel rods into Nuke 4, Jiang explained.

The premier said that as Lin has been pursuing what he thinks is best for Taiwan's democratic progress all his life, he hopes Lin can wait until Nuke 4's safety examinations have been completed and then participate in a referendum concerning the nuclear power plant. “This is a more appropriate way in a democratic country,” Jiang added.

When asked if the Executive Yuan supports lowering the threshold on the minimum voter turnout for referendums, Jiang responded that the executive administration acts in accordance with the current Referendum Act.

DPP's Draft Bill Added to Agenda

The Legislative Yuan's Procedure Committee yesterday added the DPP caucus' draft bill on the referendum concerning Nuke 4 into the Yuan Sitting's agenda this Friday. The draft bill is expected to be tendered to a legislative committee for deliberations after this Friday.

Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池) said the draft bill can be fully deliberated in the committee meetings, noting that there is no necessity for the KMT caucus to block the bill.

Protest Outside the Legislature

Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan (ART) convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) held a press conference and staged a sit-in protest with 40 demonstrators yesterday outside the Legislative Yuan in support of Lin's hunger strike. Pan-green Taipei mayor aspirant Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) also attended the press conference.

Police evicted the demonstrators who had been sitting in the middle of a road for hours. Physical altercations later occurred between the protesters and police.

1 Comment
April 23, 2014    grryk@
Taiwan relies too much on coal and other fossil fuels. Fossil fuels need to be stopped now! It needs nuclear energy to carry Taiwan through the coal and oil shutdowns needed to slow the coming climate calamities. Just out: this is the hottest April on record.
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Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung sits in a room at the Gikong Presbyterian Church, yesterday. (CNA)

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