TWO weeks after Prime Minister Gilani announced the decision to dissolve the Local Bodies and appoint bureaucrats as Administrators, the government has still to evolve a consensus over the future shape of the system whose life is guaranteed by the Constitution till December 2009. In three provinces, the pre-Devolution era Commissionerate system has already been revived. There are however inter-provincial and inter-alliance differences on what immediately needs to be done as well as on the details of the new system. For instance, the PPP, PML-N and ANP agree on the Commissionerate system but the MQM is deadly set against it. While the three parties want an urgent induction of the Administrators, the MQM wants the life of the present Local Bodies to be extended by one year. The differences are dictated by the peculiar political considerations of each party. The MQM wants to retain hold over the Local Bodies in urban Sindh, particularly in Karachi and Hyderabad, and is apprehensive that the appointment of the Administrators might weaken its grip with possibly dire political consequences. In Punjab, unhappy over what it considers to be the failure on the part of the PML-N to enforce the jointly approved power sharing formula, the PPP thinks its political hold would further erode if it was not allowed a role in the choice of the administrators. There has been a welcome, though somewhat belated, move on the part of the Prime Minster to call a meeting of the Law and Local Bodies ministers of all the four provinces to sort out the unresolved mattes. An inordinate delay on the part of the ruling coalition to come up with an acceptable new Local Bodies system and instead moving ahead to postpone the elections three months before they are scheduled to be held has led a number of District Nazims to approach the courts. Petitions have been moved both in Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court calling the move malafide. The petitioners have also challenged the commissionerate system which they maintain has been established through a legal fiat by an amendment to the Punjab Land Revenue (Amendment) Ordinance 2008. Political issues can best be settled politically. It is a reflection on the part of the politicians when these disputes end up in courts which are already overburdened with work. The PPP and PML-N have neglected vital issues too long. The PPP leads the coalitions at the Center and in Sindh and the PML-N in the Punjab. They need to urgently evolve a consensus formula on the Local Bodies in consultation with their partners.