Swiss government calls on voters to reject burqa, niqab ban in upcoming referendum
Bern/Sputnik: The Swiss government on Tuesday urged the country's voters to reject a proposal to ban full facial coverings, such as the Islamic burqa and niqab, in an upcoming March referendum.
"The Swiss electorate will vote on 7 March on the popular initiative ‘Yes to a ban on full facial coverings’. The Federal Council and Parliament recommend that voters reject the initiative. Very few people in Switzerland wear a full facial covering," a press release published by the government read.
The proposed ban would have a negative impact on tourism and would also undermine the sovereignty of individual cantons, the government said.
Instead of a full ban, the government said it supports a proposal that would require individuals to show their face if necessary for identification purposes.
St Gallen and Ticino, two Swiss cantons, have already banned full facial coverings in earlier regional votes. Swiss voters backed a proposal to ban the construction of new minarets in a 2009 referendum.