Taiwan Lawmakers Brawl Over Nuclear Plant Bill

20130801-213727.jpgTaiwanese lawmakers have exchanged punches and thrown water at each other ahead of an expected vote authorizing a referendum on whether to go ahead with the construction of a fourth power plant. Friday’s fracas pitted the pro-referendum forces of President Ma Ying-jeou’s ruling Nationalist Party against strongly anti-nuclear forces affiliated with the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party. With a large Nationalist majority in the 113-seat legislature, the referendum bill is expected to pass. The DPP has long opposed nuclear power generation in Taiwan on safety grounds, particularly given the high incidence of earthquakes on the island. Those concerns became pronounced in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. Anti-nuclear sentiment in Taiwan is high. Polls suggest that any referendum would have a hard time passing. …


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