Swiss Voters Block Weapons Export Ban

29 November 2009 (Last Updated November 29th, 2009 18:30)

A proposal to ban the export of weapons and other war-related materials has been overwhelmingly rejected in a nationwide ballot in Switzerland on Sunday. The proposal was launched by a broad coalition of peace groups and centre-left political parties, with opposition from the governmen

A proposal to ban the export of weapons and other war-related materials has been overwhelmingly rejected in a nationwide ballot in Switzerland on Sunday.

The proposal was launched by a broad coalition of peace groups and centre-left political parties, with opposition from the government and a majority in parliament who recommended a no vote.

Official results showed that 68.2% of voters were against the initiative to ban all weapons sales vs 31.5% for. The turnout, cited as above average, was 53% of the population.

The government supported its decision to recommend a no vote saying a total weapons ban would cost thousands of jobs and jeopardise the country's defence capacity.

This is the third time since 1972 that a similar proposal has been rejected by voters.