Political parties last night welcomed the proposed arrangement for the election of the next SAR chief executive. The Government proposed the polling date be fixed at 90 days before the end of Tung Chee-hwa's term on July 1 next year. Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said the 90-day period was reasonable: 'This will give the winner ample time to prepare for office.' But he added: 'The March 28 date will provide a chance for the Financial Secretary [Antony Leung Kam-chung] to give handouts in his Budget, boosting the Chief Executive's chance to get re-elected. This happens in all democratic societies.' Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, also supported the arrangement. 'The DAB has always called for a period of not shorter than one month and not longer than three months. Otherwise it would be too long and might affect transition,' he said. Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier, welcomed the formula. 'Ninety days is quite suitable,' she said. Non-affiliated legislator Andrew Wong Wang-fat said he would like to see the period between the election and the new term as short as possible, but that 90 days was acceptable. However, Professor Lau Siu-kai, of the Chinese University, said three months was too long. 'Even the United States presidential election is held less than three months before the president's term is due to finish,' he said. National People's Congress deputy Cheng Yiu-tong said the decision was good for all parties. 'The earlier people know when the election will take place, the better they can prepare,' he said.