KMT lawmakers to be fined over Nuke 4 vote

TAIPEI - The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus said yesterday that punishments will be meted out, according to party regulations, to five of its lawmakers who voted against its consensus to continue construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

The Legislature yesterday voted on the Democratic Progressive Party's proposal to stop Nuke 4 construction and other issues concerning the future of the power plant.

Among the ruling party lawmakers who voted against their party line were Legislators Ting Shou-chung, Lee Ching-hua, Lo Shu-lei, Lin Guo-cheng and Luo Ming-cai.

Despite the "runaway" votes, the KMT ultimately won as it still holds a majority in the Legislature.

"My stance has never changed. If they want to fine me NT$20,000 (S$829) so be it," said Ting.

Lo, an outspoken KMT maverick, said, "Nuke 4 is already dead ... If construction has stopped, why is there still a budget for it? They can fine me if they want. I am not the only one (who voted differently) anyway."

Lee said, "The caucus understands my stance, because I proposed the referendum to stop construction. According to the law, legislators are required to take the opposite side of the Cabinet. If the caucus has decided to punish me, then it should not have chosen me to propose the referendum ... The caucus informed me that the person who makes a proposal is the only person who is allowed to vote according to his own preferences. If I voted alongside them today, it would've meant that the referendum is fake."

The KMT caucus said that all of its lawmakers were demanded to be present in yesterday's session, and that a consensus regarding the vote had been reached beforehand.

Party regulations are designed to unite members' opinions, the caucus said, adding that lawmakers went against the consensus will be punished accordingly.

KMT Blocks All Nuke 4-related Bills

The DPP made additions to the session agenda before the meeting began, including a demand for Premier Jiang Yi-huah to deliver a report on the Nuke 4 construction halt, a demand to "actually" stop construction on the power plant, and a proposal to make laws that push for a complete nuclear power phase-out.

The KMT voted against all nuclear-related bills, including the scrapping of the NT$8.1 billion budget for Nuke 4 and the proposal to terminate the power plant by year-end.

One different vote will cost each legislator NT$10,000, said KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih.