Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 1 News List

KMT agrees to talks on Referendum Act

DAY-LONG WAIT:The new premier’s policy address to the legislature was delayed from 10am to 6:20pm as opposition lawmakers protested a planned referendum

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters

While both Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the KMT yesterday expressed support for a referendum, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) reiterated that the DPP opposes the construction of and the allocation of additional budget to the power plant, adding that the government should not resort to a “trick” based on the Referendum Act.

A referendum has become the KMT’s tool to legitimize the construction of the plant, Su said, adding the KMT has always stood on the wrong side of the nation’s democratic development.

Su called on anti-nuclear advocates to “prepare themselves with determination to fight for a nuclear-free homeland.”

Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) added that the Referendum Act is unfair and a violation of democratic principles because the act was “basically formulated for every referendum to fail.”

TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said that a proposed amendment of the Nuclear Reactor Facilities Regulation Act (核子反應器設施管制法), which has been endorsed by lawmakers and is awaiting passage through the legislature, would be enough to deal with the issue.

The amendment proposes that the construction and operations of all nuclear reactors cannot be approved before a local referendum is held where the reactor is located.

Huang said the threshold for the referendum to pass should reference the Offshore Islands Development Act (離島建設條例) which adopts simple plurality.

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) also accused Jiang and the Ma administration of political calculation behind the proposal.

Lu, who has been working on a local referendum in New Taipei City, denounced the idea of a national referendum, saying that New Taipei City is most qualified to hold a referendum on the issue because it has three nuclear power plants in its administrative zone.

Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih

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