Sat, Mar 09, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Nuclear Power Debate: Lu presses for local poll on plant

SPENDING WARNING:Annette Lu said that the government should not spend taxpayers’ money to promote the KMT’s position in a national referendum

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu, right, talks in front of representations of what President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah could look like after a nuclear accident to highlight how the issue of nuclear power transcends politics at a press conference in New Taipei City yesterday. Lu said that she would be submitting a proposal for a local referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant on Monday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that she would submit a proposal for a local referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant on Monday and insisted that the referendum could still be held despite the government’s plans for a national poll.

The local referendum proposal in New Taipei City (新北市), initiated by Lu with the aim of preventing the installation of fuel rods in the nuclear power plant, has collected 51,349 valid signatures and passed the first phase threshold for a local referendum, Lu told a press conference yesterday.

Lu said that she would submit the proposal to the New Taipei City Election Committee on Monday, the second anniversary of Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.

While the Referendum Act (公民投票法) stipulates that the Executive Yuan could submit a local referendum initiative to the Referendum Review Committee if it deemed the initiative to be a matter of national importance that requires a national poll, Lu insisted that the two referendums could be held together.

The former vice president did not rule out launching a new national referendum initiative if her proposal for a local poll was to be vetoed by the central government.

With regards to the national referendum initiated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Lu said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and anti-nuclear campaigners had no choice but to participate.

The current law on referendums requires a voter turnout of at least 50 percent and a majority of 51 percent for a motion to be approved.

She also proposed to increase the number of public debates on the issue from five to 10 and said that the government should stay neutral and not spend taxpayers’ money to promote the KMT’s position in the referendum or discourage people from participating in the poll.

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