SWITZERLAND will have a referendum on banning the burka within the next two years.
The Swiss government will hold a free vote on the issue after activists collected 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for the ban.
The ban, championed by far-right groups, will be subject to a free vote under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, which lets voters decide major policy issues.
The Swiss executive Federal Council is expected to set a date for the referendum within the next two years.
Backers of the referendum include some MPs with the right-wing populist ruling party, the Swiss People’s Party, known for its conservative anti-immigration platform.
They resorted to using the petition under Switzerland’s direct democracy after legislative proposals for a ban were voted down by the Swiss Senate, after narrowly passing through the parliament.
Lawmakers said the burka was not widely worn in Switzerland and that a ban could reduce tourism from the Middle East – but it will now be taken to a referendum in which the ban could stand a good chance of becoming law…