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DPP to hold sit-in protest to support former head's planned fast
Central News Agency
2014-04-18 10:42 PM
Taipei, April 18 (CNA) Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Friday it will mobilize party members who hold public office to sit-in outside the Legislature to support the party's former head, who plans to begin fasting in protest over the continuing construction of the fourth nuclear power plant. The sit-in will start at 3 p.m. on April 22 to coincide with Lin Yi-hsiung's scheduled fasting to begin the same day, the DPP said after a meeting. The sit-in demonstration will then run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day until April 25, the party said, adding that it will hold discussions on site with experts and NGO representatives on nuclear energy and environmental policies. The campaign will be followed by a road running event on Saturday, also dedicated to the anti-nuclear movement, according to DPP spokesman Xaviar Chang.

The series of events will be part of the party's anti-nuclear energy initiatives, following Lin's planned action to call for the scrapping of the country's fourth nuclear power plant, Chang said. Premier Jiang Yi-huah said he hopes Lin, a political figure he much respects, could turn to a normal channel to voice opposition to the power plant, instead of taking means to hurt himself. Meanwhile, Tsai Ting-kuei, chairman of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan, on Friday called for a rally to surround the Legislative Yuan on April 22 to support Lin. Construction of the plant began in 1999 but remains incomplete, due partly to Taiwan's changing political climate, in which advocacy of nuclear power is highly unpopular.

Opponents of nuclear power say it's too risky for earth-quake prone Taiwan to build any more nuclear power plants and that the existing plants should be decommissioned soon. They call for more government resources to go into developing clean and safe energy. The government, and those who support the construction of the fourth power plant, however, argue that the plant is needed to provide Taiwan with enough electricity to meet its needs. They say nuclear power is a stable and affordable choice and that the fourth power plant is much safer than the other three as well as Japan's ill-fated Fukushima plant. (By Wang Chin-yi, Justin Su, Tai Ya-chen and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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