Protesters demand government response, belittling KMT announcement
Central News Agency
2014-04-27 11:28 PM
Taipei, April 27 (CNA) Anti-nuclear activists and opposition politicians were not happy Sunday about a ruling party announcement that the government was halting the construction of the nation's fourth nuclear power plant -- an announcement that would have met their demand if it had come from a government channel instead of the party. Protesters on Taipei streets, the hunger striking politician at a church, and the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were all demanding a "government" response to their calls for halting the controversial nuclear power plant project. The ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi announced earlier that a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as KMT chairman, Premier Jiang Yi-huah, other senior government officials and KMT mayors and county magistrates have decided to put an end to the building of the plant whose operation will be decided by a national referendum to be held at a date to be decided by the people. The premier even personally sent the message to former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, whose hunger strike that began April 22 has given an impetus to thousands of protesters taking to the streets in downtown Taipei, paralyzing traffic near Taipei Station. Jiang, for the second time in six days, failed to meet Lin, who has declined to meet visitors during his fast. Chen Shang-chih, a university professor speaking for Lin, said Lin would only respond to "a responsible government agency" publishes a decision on the nuclear plant project instead of a KMT announcement. The protesters rallying in downtown Taipei vowed to continue occupying the streets of Taipei until Premier Jiang formally announces the decision to halt construction of the nuclear power plant. DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang also urged the premier to put his party's proposal to the Legislature and win its approval so as to "complete the constitutional process," instead of keeping the public guessing as to whether a KMT announcement would be implemented or not. In response, the Cabinet's spokesman, Sun Lih-chyun, said the Executive Yuan has not changed its position regarding the fourth nuclear power plant but was simply putting into effect a Legislative Yuan conclusion reached last year between the ruling and opposition party caucuses. That conclusion calls for suspension of work on the plant, including the installation of fuel rods into the two nuclear reactors before a referendum has been held to decide its fate. The KMT announced Sunday that the government was halting the construction of the no. 1 and no. 2 reactors of the plant, though safety checks on the no. 1 which were already in progress will be completed. (By Claudia Liu, Kelvin Huang, Sofia Yeh and S.C. Chang)
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