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Sat, Jan 20, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP lays down bottom line on nuclear power plant

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The DPP government yesterday revealed its bottom line for resumption of construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant: a new "National Energy Law" to be passed at the upcoming provisional meeting of the legislature.

The government said, however, that it would not allow Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) to be forced from office.

"If the Legislative Yuan acts in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the government would respect the result," said sources in the Presidential Office yesterday.

"The Grand Justices' ruling, published on Monday, had already pointed out that passing a new law to regulate the government's energy policies would be an appropriate means of solving the dispute between the ruling and opposition parties," the sources said.

DPP Secretary-General Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) also said that the government would not resume construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant unless the Legislative Yuan passed a law to force it to do so.

Senior DPP officials have said that by opting for enactment of a new energy law, the premier will not need to resign even if the Legislative Yuan votes down the Executive Yuan's proposal to scrap the plant.

The Council of Grand Justices suggested three measures to resolve the dispute over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant: that the premier resign, that negotiations be conducted between the Executive and Legislative Yuans, or that construction of the plant simply be resumed.

The Council of Grand Justices also said that if negotiations fail, three further options could be considered: the premier's resignation, a vote of no confidence against the Cabinet, or the enactment of a new energy law.

The Presidential Office source said that the last step the president would contemplate would be continuing construction of the plant if new legislation were enacted. "Then the DPP government can be said to have been responsible to its supporters," said the source.

The KMT has already proposed a draft Energy Law in the legislature, which advocates that the fourth plant should be Taiwan's last nuclear facility and that the first second and third nuclear power plants should be shut down earlier than originally scheduled.

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