ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Proposal for vote on Taiwan's Nuke 4 unveiled
Publication Date : 08-03-2013
Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday unveiled the contents of its Fourth Nuclear Power Plant referendum proposal, with the ballot question being “do you agree to halt Fourth Nuclear Power Plant construction and prevent it from becoming operational?”
According to local reports, KMT lawmaker Lee Ching-hua will be seeking signatures from both ruling party and opposition legislators.
KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao urged the opposition to support the proposal, so that the public can be given a platform to decide the fate of the plant, also known colloquially as “Nuke 4.”
If the referendum is approved, a national debate has to held according to the Referendum Act, Lai said, adding that because of the issue's neutrality, activists should represent those in favour of halting construction, while the government should represent those not in favour, so that political parties can exit the scene, allowing for an objective debate with minimal partisan influence.
Questions were raised as to whether it is problematic for the Legislature to propose the referendum but not represent itself in the debate.
There are no regulations that prohibit legislators from participating in the debate, Lai said in response.
Lee, on the other hand, said that political figures should not meddle in the process and stay out of the ring.
Lai said that if there are opposition legislators willing to represent the Legislature in the debate, the matter can be discussed through cross-party negotiations.
Ruling Party Mavericks
KMT lawmaker Ting Shou-chung said yesterday that he is planning to draw up another proposal, because he felt that the latter half of his party's ballot question made the sentence itself semantically unclear.
Ting added that the KMT's version also effectively prevents any further possibilities of a reconstruction.
The ballot question should simply be “do you agree to halt (Nuke 4) construction?” Ting argued.
Fellow party lawmaker Lo Shu-lei also expressed reservations about the KMT's ballot question, saying that it looked “strange” with the words “prevent it from becoming operational” at the end of the sentence.
Ting added that he will urge the KMT to not oppose the establishment of a cross-party nuclear safety supervision committee in the Legislature.
Luo added that she will seek expert opinion on whether or not to draw up a new proposal.
In response, the KMT's caucus whip said that the ruling party welcomes any proposal from lawmakers, adding that he respects his colleagues' right to do so.