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Taiwanese president, premier to take part in nuclear referendum
Publication Date : 05-03-2013
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah yesterday confirmed that they will take part in the referendum on the fate of the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
According to Presidential Office spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei, not only will the president participate in the referendum, but he also urges the entire nation to vote.
Jiang said this referendum is distinct from earlier ones that were tied up with major elections.
“The threshold required for the results of the referendum to actually take effect is high. More than 50 per cent of the nation's eligible voters must participate, so I encourage everyone to take part,” he said.
Lee said the Cabinet supports the idea of letting the public decide the fate of the plant. The aim of the process is to ensure that the government and people communicate well, and to ensure officials use the opportunity to explain the benefits and problems of both launching and terminating the plant, she said.
“This has been an issue that has harassed Taiwan for almost 20 years,” Lee said.
“We would like to see a stop to this. That is why the government is placing so much emphasis on this issue.”
Lee said the president hopes the referendum does not suffer from any political interference and is rather a vote that truly reflects the desires of the people.
Kuomintang caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao said he fully supports the referendum.
“If the plant launches, then it would be good for Taiwan's economy,” Lai said
“If, however, the referendum shows that more people want to terminate the plant, at least the debate will come to an end.”
He added that Jiang was serious when he proposed a referendum on the issue.
“If the Legislative Yuan approves the referendum, then the Cabinet will try everything they can to persuade the nation to vote for launching the nuclear power plant, but the fate of Nuke 4 is up to the people.”