After reading my post on Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates’ second thoughts about holding a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, Lugundum, a Gates of Vienna reader in the Czech Republic, sent us this report:
This is in response to your articles concerning the Portuguese prime minister’s retraction of his promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
The Civic Democratic Party (Czech: Obcanská demokratická strana — abbreviation: ODS) is the largest right-wing political party in the Czech Republic. In its public statements, it typically mixes euro-sceptic and market liberal rhetoric, although it is often viewed as more moderate on both issues in actual policies.
Please note that the Civic Democrats are also the major party in the Czech government, and campaigned hard on a Euro-sceptic note. Their latest spin on the issue is that the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic should rule on whether the Lisbon Treaty is in accordance with the Czech Constitution.
There are a few sources in English which at least confirm that they are considering submitting the Treaty to the Court. For example:
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…He said the process could be complicated by the desire of some lawmakers from the main Czech government party, the right-wing Civic Democrats, to ask the constitutional court to rule on whether the treaty conforms with the constitution.
…In the Czech Republic, however, the ratification process might be far from smooth. Just as prime minister Mirek Topolanek was putting his signature to the document in Lisbon, critics accused his party — “the right-of-centre Civic Democrats” — of trying to devise ways to delay ratification. The Civic Democrats propose sending the document to the Constitutional Court in Brno to decide whether it’s compatible with the Czech Constitution. This could take a very long time.
However, even if submitted to the Constitutional Court, there is no prize for guessing what the outcome would be. If I remember correctly, I have heard Mr. Topolanek personally talking about submitting the Treaty to the Court, but I’m not sure.