Taiwan faces political crisis as a tentative compromise between the government and opposition parties on resuming construction of the 2.7 GW Lungmen nuclear power plant threatens to collapse.

Parliamentary speaker Wang Jin-pyng reportedly rejected an agreement drafted by the government and demanded that construction of the plant should restart before the agreement is discussed.

Recently the opposition-dominated legislature voted against a cabinet decision to shelve the partially completed plant, and called for the government to finish building the $5.3 billion project, but Premier Chang chun-hsiung responded by saying that the resolution would not be legally binding, comments that could prolong the political crisis as opposition deputies threaten to recess indefinitely.

The parliamentary resolution follows Premier Chang¹s decision to halt construction of the project in a way that a constitutional court has ruled contained procedural flaws.

The former ruling party, the Kuomintang (KMT), who initially approved the project, has seized on the mishandled situation and may call for Chang¹s resignation.

It is also possible that Chang will resign voluntarily, in the face of a parliamentary threat of a vote of no confidence. Another possibility is that the legislature passes a bill forcing the cabinet to resume construction of the project.

However, Chang will reportedly fight for his position and deputies are not keen to propose a vote of no confidence as President Chen Shui-bian, a member of Chang¹s anti-nuclear democratic progressive party, could dissolve the legislature and call an election. Chang now faces the difficult position of having to publicly go back on his decision to halt construction of the plant.