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Protesters to continue occupying streets until demands met
Central News Agency
2014-04-27 10:44 PM
Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Anti-nuclear protesters in a rally against the fourth nuclear power plant vowed Sunday evening to continue occupying the streets of downtown Taipei until Premier Jiang Yi-huah formally announces the decision to halt construction of the controversial power plant. The protesters marched from Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office to Zhongxiao West Road in front of the Taipei Railway Station, where they lay down or sat in the road, paralyzing traffic in an area usually thronging with cars and buses. As the rally went on, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou arrived at a decision earlier in the day after Ma and Jiang met with local government heads of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT). No further work, except for the ongoing safety checks, will be carried out on the No. 1 reactor of the fourth nuclear plant located in New Taipei, while construction of the No. 2 reactor will be halted, KMT spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi announced. Whether the power plant will eventually enter service will be determined by a referendum, Fan Chiang said. Recognizing the goodwill of the Ma administration and the ruling party, Tsai Chung-yueh, a spokesman for the 126 civic groups organizing the rally, urged premier Jiang to officially announced the decision to discontinue the construction of the power plant "on behalf of the government." "Otherwise, it was just a decision by the KMT," he argued. Once the premier makes the announcement, "we will end the occupation movement," said Tsui Chu-hsin, a spokeswoman of the participating groups. "Until then, the occupation will continue," she added. The groups, which started the rally in the afternoon, also reiterated their call for lowering the voter turnout threshold for holding a national referendum on the fate of the fourth nuclear plant. The groups also offered apology to people affected by their occupation movement. The existing Referendum Act requires the participation of more than half of the country's eligible voters for a national referendum to be valid. The demonstrators, many of whom wore yellow "anti-nuke" banners, chanted slogans such as "terminating the fourth nuclear power plant" and "modifying the Referendum Act" as they sat down on the road in their occupation movement. According to police estimates, over 10,000 people took part in the rally, while the organizers claimed that around 50,000 participated. (By Elaine Hou)
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