Sat, Dec 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT urges Cabinet to start acting on referendum results

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

From left, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin, KMT Vice Chairman and secretary-general Tseng Yung-chuan, KMT Policy Committee director Johnny Chiang and KMT Legislator Lin Te-fu hold hands as they call for the government to take action following the passing of three KMT-proposed referendums at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

The government should start preparing to implement the policies demanded by referendums that passed on Saturday last week, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman and Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said yesterday at an event with sponsors of the KMT-backed referendums.

The party’s politicians proposed referendums on annual cuts to electricity generation at thermal power plants, halting construction or expansion of coal-fired power plants or generators and maintaining a ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures instituted following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster.

The three referendums received more “yes” votes than all the ballots cast for KMT candidates in the nine-in-one elections, which showed that the public is interested in the issues, Tseng said.

The KMT would oversee the government, both at the Legislative Yuan and at the local level, to ensure that the referendum results are implemented, Tseng said, adding that the Executive Yuan is responsible for upholding the ban on Japanese food imports.

The referendum is not seeking to restrain Japan, but the Taiwanese government, as the Council of Agriculture and Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) have been pushing to lift the ban, Tseng said.

KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), initiator of the food ban referendum, said that Taiwan can uphold the ban.

The government has cited a WTO ruling against South Korea’s ban on Japanese food imports in Dispute Settlement 495, but Seoul has continued to enforce the ban, Hau said.

“If South Korea can, so can we,” he said.

KMT Legislator Lin Te-fu (林德福), who initiated the referendum against new coal-fired power plants, said that all referendums supported by the KMT were concerned with people’s health and living standards.

Speaking on behalf of KMT Taichung mayor-elect Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), who proposed the referendum on cutting electricity output from thermal power plants, KMT Policy Committee convener Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that it was not a consultation and that the government must take action to realize the results of direct democracy.

“This referendum should not become the most expensive opinion poll [this nation has ever seen],” he said.

Separately yesterday, the Executive Yuan said that it respects the passage of a referendum that asked: Do you agree that subparagraph 1, Article 95 of the Electricity Act (電業法), which reads: “Nuclear-energy-based power-generating facilities shall wholly stop running by 2025,” should be abolished?

However, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said that while the subparagraph has been repealed, the administration’s determination to create a nuclear power-free environment remains unchanged.

Plans to transition to alternative sources of energy would continue as planned, while the government would consider adopting a more flexible energy policy, Kolas said, adding that the goal of a nuclear-free homeland would be realized at a natural and gradual pace.

Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang

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