At least 28 people have been arrested in Nepal following a second day of opposition-led protests, Home Minister Madhav Ghimire has told the BBC. He said that they are being held either for attempting to enforce a transport strike on Tuesday or for being involved in violent activities. On Monday night about 40 bus passengers narrowly escaped being burnt to death. Their vehicle was set on fire by protesters opposed to elections next week, local media reported. Several other buses throughout the country were attacked throughout Tuesday. The attacks were all staged by people opposed to the vote on 19 November, authorities say. The opposition has denied it is responsible for all the attacks.
A general strike aimed at disrupting next week’s parliamentary elections shut down Nepal on Monday, leaving businesses and educational institutions completely shuttered. The strike was called by the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist and its 32 small allies, which have announced a boycott of the Nov. 19 Constituent Assembly elections and a nationwide transportation strike from Tuesday until election day. The CPN-Maoist is dominated by communists who split away from their almost identically named mother party — the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) — last year.
With six days to go before the snap general elections, Greek labor unions called local administration employees on Monday to join a week-long anti-austerity protest, threatening to short circuit the polls. Greece has reduced election spending for the upcoming contest by about 25 percent compared to the previous parliamentary elections held on October 2009, in the context of efforts to cut down on public expenses to counter an alarming debt crisis, according to Greek Interior Minister Tassos Giannitsis. It is estimated that Sunday’s ballots will cost the Greek state approximately 60 million euros (79.38 million U.S. dollars).
Steel helmeted riot police patrolled the streets of the capital today as a dusk-to-dawn general strike called by opposition groups to protest the government’s decision to change electoral system paralysed Bangladesh.
The strike was called after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League party announced plans last week to scrap the country’s electoral system under which a caretaker government takes over during election time.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the main opposition BNP to call off tomorrow’s hartal and said there is still scope for discussion on the caretaker government system. “We are not rigid on the issue. Come to parliament and if you have any formula, spell it out,” she said in the emergency meeting of Awami…