TAIPEI (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) will attend an annual anti-nuclear march April 27 that is aimed at demanding the abolition of nuclear power, the event organizers said yesterday.

Announcing that it will organize the 2019 anti-nuclear march in Taipei and Kaohsiung, the All-Country Anti-Nuclear Movement Platform, which gathers 126 anti-nuclear groups around Taiwan, said it welcomes all those in the public sector who support the anti-nuclear idea to participate in the march.

Tsai and Lai have both indicated their support for the idea and have promised to attend the march, titled “Bid Farewell to Nuclear Power,” the organizers said.

Petitions will be launched to phase out the 10 percent of the nation’s electricity generated by nuclear power, to actually carry out the policy of using green energy and reduce coal consumption, and to abolish the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which has almost been completed but is now mothballed at the demand of anti-nuclear public opinion, according to the platform.

Phasing out nuclear power by 2025 was the Tsai administration’s energy policy until late 2018, when Taiwanese voters rejected it in a referendum that asked voters if they agree with the abolition of paragraph 1 of Article 95 of the Electricity Act, which stipulates that “all nuclear energy-based power-generating facilities shall completely cease operations by 2025.” The referendum result, however, has not budged the government from its nuclear-free idea.

In late January, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) declared that Taiwan will not extend the lives of the country’s existing nuclear power plants, nor will it resume construction of the mothballed fourth nuclear power plant, citing opposition from local governments and the difficulties presented by the disposal of nuclear waste.

By Yu Hsiao-han and Elizabeth Hsu