Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Annette Lu vows pursuit of anti-plant referendum

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she would not give up her effort to initiate a local referendum to stop the installation of fuel rods in the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant if her appeal is rejected by the Taipei High Administrative Court next month.

Lu filed a provisional injunction in January after the Executive Yuan’s Referendum Review Committee in May last year rejected a proposal regarding the plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).

Oral arguments before the Taipei High Administrative Court ended yesterday and the court said it would issue a verdict on Aug. 5.

While most people assumed that the government had pledged to halt construction work on the power plant after former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung’s (林義雄) hunger strike in April, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration could resume construction any time, Lu told a press conference in Taipei.

“If Lin could risk his own life on the issue and force the government to announce the suspension, why can’t the 7.47 million people who reside in the plant’s mandatory evacuation zone decide their own fates?” Lu said.

The mandatory evacuation zone includes Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Yilan County.

Referendum proposals in Taipei, New Taipei City and Yilan County passed the petition threshold and were approved by the respective referendum review committees of both cities and Yilan County, but they were rejected by the Executive Yuan, which said the future of the controversial plant was an important national policy matter not suitable for local referendums.

Members of the Executive Yuan Referendum Review Committee were appointed by Ma, Lu said.

The central government is not justified in taking the right to hold a referendum away from those who live in the mandatory evacuation zone, she added.

If the administrative court rejects the appeal, Lu said she is considering asking DPP lawmakers to initiate another referendum proposal in the legislature that would cover the cities and counties in the mandatory evacuation zone.

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