The architects of the Basic Law could not agree on a timetable for the direct election of the chief executive The drafters of the Basic Law did not reach any consensus on electing the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2030 or 2040, according to a Hong Kong drafter of the mini-constitution. Raymond Wu Wai-yung, co-convenor of the political subgroup of the Basic Law Drafting Committee, told the South China Morning Post that drafters had different views on when the 'ultimate goal' of electing the chief executive by 'one person, one vote' should be achieved. Dr Wu said remarks made by mainland drafter Xiao Weiyun that the drafters considered 2030 and 2040 as possible dates for electing the chief executive by universal suffrage were only the professor's personal understanding. Professor Xiao, also a co-convenor of the political subgroup of the drafting committee, told a forum in Hong Kong last week that the goal of selecting the chief executive by popular elections should be achieved in the final stage of the 50-year lifespan of the 'one country, two systems' setup. 'But Professor Xiao was right in pointing out that the political subgroup had not come up with the idea of introducing universal suffrage in 2007,' Dr Wu said. He said the drafting committee had not gone into detail on the meaning of the clause that said Hong Kong's electoral system should change in accordance with the principle of 'gradual and orderly progress'. 'But Professor Xiao's remarks that electing the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2007 was inconsistent with the Basic Law principle of 'gradual and orderly progress' is not an incorrect understanding,' he said. Dr Wu, who sat on the Basic Law Committee, said the political subgroup decided to spell out the timetable for evolution of the electoral system in the first 10 years after the handover and leave the post-2007 framework open for discussion. 'Political maturity of the Hong Kong people would be one of the factors to justify changes to the electoral methods,' he said. 'But my opinion is that the people of Hong Kong are not politically mature enough to elect their own leader by universal suffrage in 2007.' Dr Wu said the central government had the power under Annex I of the Basic Law to decide whether there was a need to change the method for electing the chief executive in 2007. 'I think it's better for the central and Hong Kong governments to make a judgment after thorough discussion,' he said, 'Any unilateral decision, whether it is made by Beijing or Hong Kong, is not good for Hong Kong.' Dr Wu said he did not expect the central government to make the decision without consulting the views of the Hong Kong people.