Catalonia's parliament rejected Thursday a move to ban the wearing of the Islamic burqa in public places across the Spanish region after reversing an initial vote.
A resolution moved by conservatives and centre-right nationalists was passed, but opponents said there had been a technical error and some absentees at the moment of the vote.
After the session was suspended, the parliamentary speaker ordered the vote to be put again, prompting a walk-out by the motion's supporters and a victory for its left-wing opponents.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
The motion would have called on the government of the northeastern region to ban the Islamic women's garment which conceals all but the eyes, in the street as well as in public buildings.
Right-wing deputy Rafael Lopez said it was a question of values, of voicing opposition to clothing which he said kept women in a "degrading prison."
Left-wingers said they did not approve the wearing of the burqa but called the motion politically-motivated with regional elections coming up this year.
Nine municipalities in Catalonia, including Barcelona, have banned the use of face-covering Islamic veils in public or are considering doing so.