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Weapons export ban rejected by voters

A proposal to ban weapons exports and other war materiel has been overwhelmingly rejected in a nationwide ballot on Sunday.

Official results show 68.2 per cent of voters against the initiative and 31.5 per cent for. Turnout was above average, at 53 per cent.

The proposal was launched by a broad coalition of peace groups and centre-left political parties.

However, the government and a majority in parliament recommended a no vote, saying approval would cost thousands of jobs and jeopardize the country's defence capacity.

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