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KMT, DPP at odds over bills on nuclear power, China exports

2011/06/13 19:21:01

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Legislators from Taiwan's two majorpolitical parties were at loggerheads Monday over the dismissal oflegislation related to moving toward a nuclear-free homeland.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) legislativewhip Gao Jyh-peng accused the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) of using"majority violence" to boycott DPP-initiated anti-nuclear bills andothers aimed at protecting local businesses from China's negativeinfluence.

The KMT-dominated Legislative Yuan killed a proposal by the DPPto cancel the NT$14 billion (US$460 million) budget appropriation tocontinue work on Taiwan's fourth nuclear power plant, which isscheduled to become operational late next year.

The KMT controls 72 of the 113-seat Legislative Yuan, while theDPP has 33 seats.

The DPP has pushed to suspend construction of the nuclear plantin northern Taiwan's New Taipei City after its chairwoman and 2012presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen called for a nuclear-freehomeland by 2025 following the nuclear crisis in Japan.

The DPP lawmakers also sought to ban the extension of the servicelives of Taiwan's existing three nuclear power plants after theyexpire in 2018, 2023 and 2025, respectively.

DPP lawmaker Tien Chiu-chin said the DPP's "nuclear-free" policywas justifiable because no government official, including Premier WuDen-yih and Edward Chen, the chairman of the state-run Taiwan PowerCompany that owns and operates Taiwan's nuclear plants, would dareguarantee the safety of the plants.

Among other bills proposed by the DPP that failed to clear thelegislative floor were one that sought to ban exports ofhigh-technology to China by state-run companies and another thatproposed to ban the use of farm water resources by other sectors.

KMT party whip Lin Yi-shih responded that the KMT, as the rulingparty, had to take into account national interests and public safetyin considering the nuclear issue, in contrast to the DPP caucus,which he said preferred to deal with issues through rhetoric.

He also charged the opposition party with playing up the nuclearsafety issue for political gain.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Justin Su & Bear Lee)