Czech Senate delays Lisbon Treaty vote
The Czech parliament's upper house on Wednesday adjourned a session on the European Union's reform treaty for at least one month, joining the lower house in a bid to postpone a vote on the pact, dpa reported.
The 81-seat Senate voted 73-0 to return the treaty to committee negotiations. Four senators abstained.
On Tuesday, the lower house put off a session on the so-called Lisbon Treaty to February 3.
As a result the Czech Republic will not ratify the charter before the country's six-month rotating EU presidency starts January 1.
The Czech Republic is the last EU country to vote on the accord, which has been stalled since Irish voters rejected it in June. The treaty, designed to streamline decision-making in the 27-member union, requires approval by all member states.
The delay was requested by the eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, who inked the treaty on behalf of the Czech Republic in December 2007.
Party leaders have said that they were not able to garner enough votes for the pact. They cited both procedural and political reasons.
The Civic Democrats want to exchange their votes for the Lisbon Treaty for opposition support for a US plan to place a missile defence radar facility in the Czech Republic.
Civic Democratic lawmaker Marek Benda was cited as saying Monday that the Lisbon Treaty vote will not take place until "we will know that we also have support for the radar."