Czech premier's party strikes down anti-Lisbon resolution
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's Civic Democrats on Sunday struck down a resolution recommending that the party's lawmakers reject the European Union reform treaty, days before Parliament was set to take up the pact, dpa reported.
The congress of the Civic Democratic Party voted 169-83 to reject the resolution. The senior governing party is split over the Lisbon Treaty, which is intended to overhaul EU institutions.
The Czech Republic is the last country to vote on the pact, which has been stalled since Irish voters rejected it in a June referendum.
With the Czech Republic replacing France at the EU's helm on January 1, Topolanek has been under pressure from Brussels to quickly ratify the treaty, which requires approval by all 27 EU member countries.
The Czech Parliament's lower House is scheduled to begin debating the treaty on Tuesday in a session called by the opposition Social Democrats, who back the EU pact.
The Lisbon Treaty has divided the ruling Civic Democrats, who have been wary of further European integration.
Pragmatic Topolanek inked the accord in December 2007 and has since supported it reluctantly as a necessary evil. The party's eurosceptic wing opposes the pact as a bad deal for small nations and a threat to the Czech Republic's sovereignty.