The Swiss look wants to approve the ban on face coverings in a tight referendum


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Swiss Parliament building in Bern


ZURICH (Reuters) – In a binding referendum on Sunday, Swiss voters are expected to approve a right-wing extremist proposal to ban face coverings with a relatively small majority, which is seen as a test of attitudes towards Muslims.

Projections for the broadcaster SRF, based on partial results, showed that the measure exceeded 51% to 49% with an error rate of two points.

The proposal under the Swiss system of direct democracy does not directly mention Islam and also aims to prevent violent street protesters from wearing masks, but local politicians, media and activists have called it the burqa ban.

Opinion polls showed that the measure, which the government said went too far, could be passed and the ban would become law.

“In Switzerland it is our tradition that you show your face. That is a sign of our fundamental freedoms,” said Walter Wobmann, chairman of the referendum committee and member of the Swiss People’s Party, before the vote.

He described the face covering as “a symbol of this extreme political Islam, which has become increasingly important in Europe and has no place in Switzerland”.

The proposal harks back to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required all adults to wear masks in many situations to prevent the spread of infections, and received the necessary support in 2017 to trigger a referendum.

The proposal exacerbated Switzerland’s tense relationship with Islam after citizens voted in 2009 to ban the construction of new minarets. Two cantons already have local bans on face covering.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the information contained on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indices, futures) and forex prices are not provided by exchanges, but by market makers. As a result, prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price. This means that the prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes. Therefore, Fusion Media is not responsible for any trading losses you may incur as a result of using this information.

Fusion Media or any person involved with Fusion Media assumes no liability for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information contained on this website, such as data, offers, charts and buy / sell signals. Please inform yourself comprehensively about the risks and costs associated with trading in the financial markets. This is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.

Comments are closed.