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Presidential candidates urged to commit to nuclear-free Taiwan

Presidential candidates urged to commit to nuclear-free Taiwan

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Hundreds of demonstrators gathered Saturday to demand that Taiwan's presidential candidates commit to scrapping construction of the country's fourth nuclear power plant. The protesters, mostly young people wearing costumes and holding self-made banners, called on President Ma Ying-jeou and his major competitor Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party to promise a nuclear-free homeland. "Let's face it, if they cannot make that promise now, they are not going to make it anytime in the future," said campaign organizer Tsui Shu-hsin, secretary-general of the Green Citizen Action's Alliance. The demonstration was staged against the background of Ma's recent announcement that the fourth nuclear plant, now under construction, would become operational after its safety has been guaranteed and other three plants would be closed when their life spans expire. The protesters said that while they recognize Ma's efforts to reduce the use of nuclear power, he should commit to scrapping the fourth nuclear power plant. Likewise, Tsai should make that promise, which she fell short of in her proposal to phase out nuclear power by 2025, the demonstrators said. "Neither candidate has been honest with the public," said Lill Liu, a famous local author whose book "We Cannot Take Even Just One Nuclear Disaster" was released this month. "It's like both of them are borrowing NT$1,000 (US$33) now without telling us that we'd have pay back NT$10,000 in the future," she said. The rally, which started with a heavy metal concert, also drew the participation of foreign nationals who said nuclear safety is an issue that matters to everyone. Aly Renee, an American who was in Japan during the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that caused a nuclear crisis there, said she thinks there is a need to act now to cease all nuclear power operations. "I believe it's important to stand together in solidarity for a meaningful cause like this one," she said. Taiwan is scheduled to hold presidential elections Jan. 14 next year. (By Lee Hsin-Yin) end item /pc


Updated : 2020-11-30 01:30 GMT+08:00