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Eminent jurist and Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said there is no constitutional bar to holding the local government polls prior to the national elections.

“According to section 119 of the constitution, the Election Commission is free to hold the local government elections,” Dr Kamal told journalists at a press briefing at his Bailey Road residence in the capital.

When asked about his party's participation in the local government polls, Dr Kamal said, “We shall make decision on the matter at the working committee meeting.”

He criticised the government's returning the seized properties and documents to the persons arrested in connection with corruption.

Dr Kamal's remarks come at a time when police have returned Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina's properties and documents seized from her Sudha Sadan residence after her arrest in July last year.

He, however, did not mention the Awami League chief's name.

Replying to a query the Gono Forum president said, “People want to know under which law police returned the properties seized from the arrestees. The confiscated properties would have to be added to welfare funds and used for people's welfare.”

He also urged the government not to let people become hostage at the hands of corrupt people again for the sake of temporary benefits.

Dr Kamal alleged that those who were engaged in corruption and plundering are now creating divisions among people to capture power.

Referring to the opinions given by various quarters during his recent visit to Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj, Dr Kamal said people expect that an effective parliament would be in place through holding of a free, fair and credible election.

He also criticised the state-owned BTV for not letting the voices of common people be heard.

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