The upper house of parliament has rejected the idea of a nationwide ban on the Islamic face veil and other face coverings.

The draft bill, which was narrowly passed by the lower house last September, was opposed by the senate after a debate on Thursday, reported news agencies.

The proposal by hardline Swiss People's Party (SVP) MP Walter Wobmann called for a federal ban on the burqa, niqab and other full face coverings in public, along the same lines as a cantonal ban that came into effect in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino in July last year.

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