The Hong Kong government will seek Beijing's help if legal challenges to the chief executive election look like preventing it being held on July 10, the constitutional affairs secretary said yesterday, adding that state leaders would not allow Hong Kong to plunge into anarchy. Speaking during an RTHK phone-in programme, Stephen Lam Sui-lung urged the courts to take the importance and urgency of the election into account when dealing with possible judicial review requests against arrangements to select Tung Chee-hwa's successor. He stressed the election must be held on July 10 to avoid a leadership vacuum. When asked what the government would do if the election could not be held on that date, he said: 'We know there is that possibility, and I definitely do not hope it will happen. If there is a need we will discuss it with the central government.' The law states that a new chief executive must be elected within 120 days after the office is vacated. The term of the 800-member Election Committee, which selects the next leader, expires on July 13. Mr Lam said: 'Beijing will definitely not allow Hong Kong to plunge into anarchy.' But he sidestepped the issue when asked later whether he meant the government would seek an interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress to quell any legal challenge. 'We hope that it will not be necessary to seek an interpretation from the NPC Standing Committee. But we would have to act according to circumstances as they unfold and as they develop in the next few months,' he said. The government announced on Saturday that Mr Tung's successor would serve only the remaining two years of his term. Hong Kong legal experts and pro-democracy politicians claim this position breaches the Basic Law and would not withstand a judicial review. The Basic Law says that a chief executive shall serve a five-year term. It is understood a last-minute legal challenge before July 10, to jeopardise the election process, has not been ruled out. But some observers believe Beijing will interpret the Basic Law. Mr Lam also gave the courts an apparent warning that if a judicial review was filed, it had to be dealt with as a priority to avoid halting the election. 'Common judicial review could take a few months ... I believe the courts will find room to consider the case as soon as possible,' he said. Executive Councillor Leung Chun-ying said the public did not want to see an interpretation of the Basic Law by the NPC. He said those hoping to challenge the decision on the length of term should go to the courts as soon as possible.