Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to hold an open dialogue with people petitioning for an anti-nuclear referendum to explain the government’s policy on nuclear energy.
“If more than 100,000 people signed the petition, Ma would be obligated to publicly explain his policy,” Lu, who had initiated an anti-nuclear referendum in New Taipei City (新北市), told a press conference.
Lu said her office has collected 32,769 signatures, considerably more than the minimum of 16,000 required to submit a referendum proposal, and would keep working on the second phase, which requires 160,000 signatures in six months for a referendum to be held.
The former vice president also defended a controversial initiative to combine the referendum with the local elections next year, saying that as the referendum is expected to be held in August next year, the timing would be only three to four months away from the local elections and it makes sense to combine the two to save money.
Lu said she did not rule out organizing a rally on May 20 on Ketagalan Boulevard and demanding an open dialogue with Ma on the nuclear issue.
DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said that if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) ignored the opinion of residents of Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung — 63 percent of whom support stopping the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), according to a recent survey — KMT lawmakers representing these constituencies should be recalled.