LAHORE-The present Local Government system, headed by administrators, is going to stay for another year, as Punjab government has decided to amend Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2010 during upcoming session of the Punjab Assembly, due on October 5, to provide legal cover to the desired extension. The new amendment will be made in Section 179 of the Ordinance to authorise the government to continue with the existing arrangement for at least one year without holding fresh elections. Talking to The Nation on Monday, Punjab Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah confirmed the development, saying that in the wake of recent devastating floods, the environment had not been conducive to holding of local elections for at least one year. He said government was going to amend relevant section of the Local Government Ordinance to delay the polls for the said period. Replying to a question, he disagreed with the contention of Federal Law Minister Dr. Babar Awan that appointment of administrators in Punjab had become illegal after government failed to fulfil the legal requirement of announcing precise date for the new elections. Rana Sanaullah said that as per provisions of the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance, 2010, passed by the Assembly in February this year, the Punjab government had been authorised to dissolve the Local Councils and appoint administrators in place of Nazims, who would continue till election of their successors. He said there was no need to provide any legal cover to the administrators as desired by Babar Awan, as they had been appointed for unspecified tenure till fresh polls were held and they were replaced by elected persons. Citing relevant provision of the said ordinance, the Law Minister made it clear that Punjab government was only required to give precise date of holding fresh polls within 180 days under section-179 of the Local Ordinance, but even this provision became irrelevant after passage of the 18th Amendment which has authorised Election Commission of Pakistan to hold local elections instead of the Punjab Election Authority. He said Amendment will also be made in the law to abolish the election authority. A Local Government official told this scribe that apart from the obstacle of floods which 'have destroyed the basic infrastructure in many places across the country, another big hurdle in the way of holding local elections was the disagreement between the Centre and the provinces over contours of the new system. According to him, the government had not so far been able even to address the basic issues regarding the new system. He said govt was still indecisive whether the elections should be held on party basis or should they be non-party based? Should we revert back to the previous system of Municipal Corporations or continue with the present one; or should it be an amalgamation of the two? he further elaborated the confusion facing the government.