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Wed, Jan 17, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP stands firm after ruling

CRISIS MANAGEMENT Party insiders say with the grand justices' ruling behind them, the DPP can now formulate a strategy to ensure the nuclear plant remains canceled

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

While the Council of Grand Justices has ruled that the Cabinet's decision to scrap the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant (核四) was "flawed," the DPP government has shown no signs of making a concession in the continuing "political struggle" triggered by the plant's construction.

"The KMT's trick is to create their so-called win-win situation by asking the Cabinet to continue the plant's construction in exchange for the premier remaining in his post. The DPP will never accept it," a source in the DPP said yesterday, adding that the party would do all it could to keep its political promise -- to abandon the nuclear plant forever.

The source added that top-ranking DPP officials have come up with a set of strategies to counteract any move by the opposition in the near future, saying that "the worst impact triggered by the plant has actually passed." He made the remarks to brush aside concerns that the DPP government may not survive the continuing political fallout from the cancellation of the project.

Government spokesman Su Tzen-ping (蘇正平) also said that the Cabinet would not restart the plant's construction.

"The interpretation made by the grand justices did not specify that the order to discontinue the plant was invalid, so the Cabinet's decision will stand," Su said yesterday, adding that the Cabinet would take initiatives to conduct negotiations with the opposition alliance.

Su added that "Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) has not ruled out the possibility of calling on Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) himself" to ease the standoff between the executive and legislative branches.

Cabinet Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) said that the Cabinet would deliver a report explaining its cancellation to the legislature as soon as possible, hoping to remedy the procedural flaw identified in the Council of Grand Justices' ruling.

Chiou, however, said that the legislature had no right of veto over the Cabinet's report on the plant's cancellation.

DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), in addition, expressed his hope that the grand justices' ruling could provide a possible solution for the political deadlock, urging the legislature to resume the premier's legislative interpellation as soon as possible. Chang has been treated as a persona non grata by the legislature and prevented from attending any legislative functions since Oct. 30. It remains unclear whether he will be able to enter the Legislative Yuan when the next legislative session begins on Feb. 20.

Meanwhile, the DPP's department of social development will continue to seek public support for the government's decision, including that of anti-nuclear activists.

"Faced with possible backlash from the anti-nuclear lobby, I am under great pressure. But, I hope they can understand [the DPP's difficulties]," Lee Wen-ying (李文英), the department's director said, adding that the party would prepare for the worst possible outcome.

Lee, in addition, appealed to the public to support the party in the year-end legislative elections so that the DPP would become the majority party in the legislature, facilitating the passage and implementation of legislative bills proposed by the party.

Echoing Lee's view, director of the DPP's survey center Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), citing a poll from late October, said the majority of people were in favor of scrapping the nuclear power plant if they were guaranteed that no power blackouts would occur as a result.

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