( dpa ) - The Slovak parliamentary opposition Thursday again blocked the ratification of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty because of a dispute over the country's controversial draft press law, TA3 news channel reported.
The right-wing opposition repeated its Wednesday walk out from the chamber before the vote, as the centre-left ruling coalition would not give in to opposition demands to postpone the ratification until after the draft press law is adopted in a revised form.
The 85-strong coalition thus again lacked five votes, as a majority of 90 in the 150-seat house is required to ratify the treaty, which was laboriously negotiated to streamline decision- making in the enlarged EU.
The coalition lawmakers postponed the vote to February 7 giving both sides a week for further negotiations.
As it is now, the contested bill would introduce penalties for stories approving of wars or drugs, or grant expansive rights to respond to published articles.
The proposal has been recently criticized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as those provisions would "severely restrict editorial autonomy," OSCE said in a statement.
So far three EU members - Hungary, Slovenia and Malta - have ratified the treaty. All 27 member states must pass it before it can come into effect on 1 January 2009. Only one EU member - Ireland - is holding a national referendum on the treaty.