Any changes to the methods of selecting the chief executive would have to be endorsed by the central government, the constitutional affairs chief stressed yesterday. Stephen Lam Sui-lung made the comment when lawmakers asked if the review on democracy beyond 2007 would be purely an internal matter for Hong Kong. Mr Lam told a Legco constitutional affairs panel meeting that a clear timetable would be announced next month. He said the government had learned its lesson following the 500,000-strong protest march against the national security legislation in the summer. Public opinion would be thoroughly considered when deciding on the future electoral package, he said. Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan and Cheung Man-kwong demanded a clear promise that Beijing and its representatives in Hong Kong would not manipulate the outcome of the review. 'We want the democratic review to be an internal affair which has nothing to do with Beijing,' Mr Ho said. But Mr Lam said: 'I believe the central government would pay attention to the views in Hong Kong.' The final package would require approval by the National People's Congress, he said. He was referring to a Basic Law requirement which states any change to the method of selecting the chief executive needs the support of two-thirds of the legislature and the consent of the chief executive and the National People's Congress Standing Committee.