Mon, Oct 20, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Marathon to boost referendum kicks off in Kungliao


A torchlight marathon highlighting the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) determination in pushing for referendums kicked off yesterday in rural Kungliao township in Taipei County.

The torchlight marathon is being held as a sideline to a rally to be held in Kaohsiung Oct. 25 to champion the writing of a new constitution.

More than 200,000 people are expected to take part in the rally, which is described by former DPP Chairman Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) as a crucial boost to the success of a referendum, in which the Taiwan population will vote to decide whether and how a new constitution should be enacted and promulgated.

Former DPP Chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) ignited the "Referendum Torch" at a ceremony held at the site of the partially completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

Lin, a key figure in Taiwan's anti-nuclear campaign, then handed the lit torch to DPP Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮), one of the major proponents of referendums in Taiwan, who in turn carried the torch at the start of the "north way" of the torchlight marathon.

The "north way" run is a seven-day, 492.3-km run from Taipei County to the southern port city of Kaohsiung, crossing through Keelung City, Taipei City, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County and Miaoli County in the north, down to Taichung County, Taichung City and Nantou, Changhua and Yunlin counties in central Taiwan, and Chiayi County, Chiayi City, Tainan County and Kaohsiung County in the south.

Addressing the ceremony, Lin called for the people of Taiwan to become their own masters and decide upon their own fate.

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