People are more concerned about the economy than increasing the pace of democracy, Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang said yesterday. Despite the record turnout at Sunday's election, Mrs Chan said she did not believe there was a consensus in the community for amending the Basic Law to introduce universal suffrage as quickly as possible. 'Their main concern and their top priority is how to tackle the current economic difficulties, particularly as regards of employment,' Mrs Chan said. 'I think we ought to distinguish between democracy and whether the Legislative Council should be returned by popular vote. 'To a very large extent Hong Kong is already a very democratic society. 'Polls show the majority of those who participated in voting voted because they regarded it as their civic duty to do so. 'It also reflects their greater confidence in Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong. 'As regards the composition of the legislature . . . I don't believe there's a consensus within the community as to how fast this pace should move. 'We will work hand in hand with the legislature to address the current economic difficulties, particularly with regards to employment, but as far as the legislature is concerned, we will move in accordance with the [Basic Law].' However, The Frontier's Emily Lau Wai-hing said: 'We are not saying economic problems are not important. Economics and democracy are equally important. But why did people vote? It's because they are not satisfied with the Government. 'They [the Government] should not mislead the public. How can they say the public can only talk about one issue? The two issues can be debated at the same time.' The Democratic Party said it was not satisfied with Mrs Chan's remarks. Vice-chairman Yeung Sum said: 'Democracy and economics are not mutually exclusive, but complementary to each other. 'A democratic system will help monitor the Government and facilitate the economic and employment environment.' He said the Government should not use the Basic Law as a shield to resist calls for increasing democracy. Dr Yeung said there was ample time for the Government to prepare for universal suffrage for the second post-handover Legislative Council in 2000. '[This] will make the Legco more representative and credible and it will function more effectively in reflecting public opinion,' he said.