By one vote, the Swiss House of Representatives has passed a parliamentary initiative that would ban the wearing of burkas in the country. However, the measure must still pass the Senate to become law, a tall order given its political make-up.

On Tuesday, the larger of Switzerland's two parliamentary chambers voted 88 to 87 with ten abstentions to support the measure.

In arguing against the parliamentary initiative, centre-right Radical Party parliamentarian Kurt Fluri pointed out that banning burkas – a full face and body covering with a grid covering the eyes – had nothing to do with security and that a people's initiative calling for the same ban had already been launched.

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