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Opposition parties want to see treaties on radar base

28. 4. 2008 15:30
Communists ready to appeal to the ConCourt

Prague - The Communist Party (KSČM) declared they want to see both agreements with the USA on the radar base prior their signature. The date of signing is set provisionally on 5 May. 

KSČM would like to learn the treaty content planning to have them studied by experts in order to determine whether they are not in accord with the Czech Constitution, Aktualne.cz was told by the party's Vice Chairman Jiří Dolejš.

Chairman of the KSČM's parliamentary club Pavel Kováčik went even further, speaking about a possibility of filing a charge with the Constitutional Court.

"If the government won't show us the treaties, we will sue them [the government]," warned Kováčik.

The Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) wants to see the treaties too, and is planning to raise a formal query about this in a parliament session on Thursday. 

"Needless protraction"

"This is a paradoxical situation, we practically don't know what is in these agreements. We want them to be discussed in the Lower Chamber (of the Czech parliament) or at least to get some information from PM Topolánek himself. If the government won't do this, it would be derogative," said Social Democrats´ head Jiří Paroubek.

PM Topolánek sees this attempt of the opposition parties to have the agreements reviewed as an effort to delay the discussion in parliament. Topolánek assured that the government is acting completely in accord with the Constitution.

"There can't be any unconstitutionality. The opposition just wants to slow down the process by using the Constitutional Court," informed PM Topolánek.

Simple or constitutional majority?

The opposition has also claimed recently that it 120 Lower Chamber members should sign the treaties to fulfill the so-called "constitutional majority" that is needed for laws that change the constitution. The treaties should be treated the same way in the Senate, suggested the opposition.

In contrast, Civic Democrats have planned to have the agreements treated as a law that needs to be approved by the so called "simple majority" of 101 lawmakers.

In his blog on Aktualne.cz, Paroubek informed that he sees the issue of the US radar base as significantly interfering with the Czech Republic's sovereignty, asserting that the government should present a proposal for amending the Constitution.

Paroubek believes that the issue is not a question of a mere presence of foreign forces that needs to be approved by the simple majority of 101 members of the Lower Chamber and 41 Senators.

"I don't know what else is a treaty on the establishment of the radar base than a treaty on the presence of foreign forces in the country," objects PM Topolánek.

"The Constitution states clearly that an approval of the presence of foreign forces is a treaty that needs to be ratified by 101 votes."

Rice in Prague

Meanwhile, the treaties may be signed later than planned. The US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice cannot visit the Czech Republic in May, as intented originally.

That was confirmed by the Foerign Ministry. "It is only an organizational matter. Condoleeza Rice will certainly come, we just don´t know when exactly," explained the ministry spokesperson Zuzana Opletalová.

autor: Kateřina Eliášová | 28. 4. 2008 15:30

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