The election method of the first SAR legislature should not be decided in detail by the Preparatory Committee, it was suggested yesterday. Post-handover executive councillors said the territory should be given the flexibility to make its own decision. Their call was made at an informal meeting with the co-convenor of the committee's sub-group on the first legislature, Professor Lau Siu-kai. He said members had called for the committee to adopt a 'relaxed' attitude and fix only broad electoral arrangements. Six of the 11 non-government Exco members are also on the committee. Professor Lau said members admitted the committee had the final say on electoral methods. But they said it should take into account the fact that the SAR government and the provisional legislature would be in place after July 1. The SAR government would have more choices if there was more than one proposal on the electoral methods for the 20 geographical constituency seats. Professor Lau said leaving details until after July 1 would give an impression the decision was entirely that of the Hong Kong people. But the disadvantage was uncertainty. 'The Chinese side does not want further delay. A clear set of electoral arrangements will tell Hong Kong and the international community the provisional legislature is just a temporary arrangement.' It was up to the sub-group and committee to decide the scope for flexibility. Professor Lau said the committee might not leave details to the SAR if there was a consensus. The first legislature sub-group will meet on Friday and Saturday in Beijing. Professor Lau said it was unlikely it would reach a consensus. Members would examine the more than 1,000 submissions received during a month-long consultation. On the geographical seats, most people were in favour of the 'multiple seat, single vote' method. There was no consensus on which nine sectors should be given the new functional constituency seats, said Professor Lau.