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    Bangladesh Opposition Calls Strike for Early Election


    by NTDTelevision

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    And in Bangladesh, security is tight in Dhaka as a main opposition party has called for a strike to force early parliamentary elections. Bangaldesh has been facing protests from the public due to a crash of the stock market, and rising costs of essential commodities.

    The main opposition party in Bangladesh has called for a strike on Monday... demanding early parliamentary elections to force the ruling party from power.

    Analysts did not expect the general strike to change the date of the 2013 election. It's the fourth by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, or BNP, since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office in early 2009.

    But this large-scale challenge by the BNP adds to the woes of Hasina's government. It's already struggling with discontent over high prices, lacking public services as well as the crash in the stock market.

    [Habibunnabi Sohel, Bangladesh Nationalist Party Leader]:
    "As our leader Begum Khaleda Zia spoke in favor of people's rights, thousands of people are protesting. Thousands of people have lost millions in the stock market and the price of essential commodities is high. A general strike has been called."

    Security forces patrolled Dhaka's streets, and few people were seen in the city early morning.

    Economists estimate that Bangladesh could lose some $250 million a day due to any strike-related stoppages. Analysts and diplomats say general strikes in the country scare away investors and lead to slow development.

    Any unrest could also cast a pall over Bangladesh's hosting of the Cricket World Cup on February 17.