Almost 80 percent of Latvians seek ban on face-covering clothing

  • 2016-03-07

The vast majority of Latvians, or 77 percent, support a legislative initiative calling for a ban on wearing face-covering garments in public places, a new TNS poll shows.

The survey reveals that 42 percent of respondents strongly support the ban and 35 percent tend to support it. 

Meanwhile 16 percent do not support the Justice Ministry's proposal to ban wearing face-covering clothes like Muslim burqas in public places. 

Eleven percent of respondents tend not to support the draft legislation and five percent strongly disapprove of a ban.

Seven percent of the surveyed Latvians did not voice a particular position on the issue.

TNS pollster ran the survey for 900 Seconds, the morning news program of Latvia's LNT commercial TV channel.

The survey too place from March 1 to 3, and interviewing 1,000 residents of Latvia between the ages of 18 to 55.

In January 2016, the Latvian Justice Ministry proposed a bill that would ban wearing face-concealing garments in public places. 

The ministry also called on the public to express its opinion about the initiative, which was proposed as Latvia prepares to take in asylum seekers from predominantly Muslim countries such as Syria.

Latvia is expected to take in up to 776 asylum seekers under a relocation plan agreed by the EU.