DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh's military-backed government announced Friday plans to hold local body elections despite opposition from the country's two main political parties. Chief Election Commissioner A T M Shamsul Huda said that local council polls will be held in four major cities and nine towns on August 4. They will be the first elections to be held since a state of emergency was declared in January 2007. Commerce and Education Minister Hussain Zillur Rahman said the government will also ease some of the emergency restrictions during the lead-up to the elections. Under the emergency, protests, rallies and public gatherings have been banned. The interim government, which took power after general elections were cancelled and the emergency imposed because of political instability and violence, is keen to hold the local polls before it stages parliamentary elections in December. The country's two major political parties - the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Awami League - have said they will not accept the results of the local body polls and have called for a complete lifting of the emergency. They say the current government should first stage the parliamentary elections and allow an elected authority to hold local polls. The BNP says it will hold nationwide demonstrations if the local polls go ahead. Awami League senior leader Sajeda Chowdhury told AFP Friday the party was opposed to the local elections but would still meet with the government on July 3 to discuss the general election. Both parties had refused to hold talks to plan for December's general election because their leaders - fierce political foes - have been in detention on corruption charges. However, the Awami League has agreed to meet with the government after its leader Sheikh Hasina was released earlier this month to travel to the US for medical treatment. The government is currently in talks with the BNP about releasing its leader Khaleda Zia and her two sons, who are also being held on graft charges. The BNP says all three have serious health issues that urgently require treatment