Bulgarian Parliament Adopts Country-Wide Ban on Face-Covering Veils
The Bulgarian parliament approved at first reading on Wednesday a bill proposing a ban on the wearing in public places of garments concealing entirely or partially the face.
A total of 108 MPs voted in favour of the bill, proposed by the Patriotic Front (PF). Only eight lawmakers were against and none abstained.
At the beginning, the second largest opposition party, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), proposed withdrawing the bill and including it in the bill on countering terrorism. However this proposal was rejected.
MPs from DPS and its splinter DOST, which is headed by former DPS chairperson Lyutvi Mestan, expressed opposition to the bill, saying that it does not really resolve any of the considerable problems and that it was the result of a political deal.
The bill will be applicable to all official institutions and sites which provide administrative, educational or social services as well as places for public relaxation, sport, culture and communications
Prior to entering the plenary chamber, the bill underwent approval by several parliamentary committees.
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