The legislature should be given the power to impeach ministers who are found to have committed policy blunders or are lacking integrity, lawmakers said yesterday. The call came as others warned that the Basic Law, which states the central government has the final say in appointing and sacking principal officials in the Hong Kong government, presents a loophole if a minister quits. In a meeting of the constitutional affairs panel of the Legislative Council, Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's accountability system, launched last July, was not in line with the spirit of the Basic Law as the legislature was barred from impeaching failing officials. 'The Basic Law allows Legco to impeach the chief executive if he is found by an investigation to be committing serious misconduct. But the accountability system has no such mechanism and this is a big loophole,' Mr Cheung said. Ip Kwok-him, vice-chairman of Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, said if the chief executive or central government refused to accept a minister's resignation but the person quit anyway, the resigned minister would be in breach of the law because he was not carrying out his duty. Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung said the appointment or sacking of ministers was a decision for the chief executive to make.