Catholic leader urges next chief executive to express hopes for universal suffrage to Beijing The new chief executive should have the courage to express Hong Kong people's aspirations for democracy and an early introduction of universal suffrage, Catholic leader Joseph Zen Ze-kiun said yesterday. Bishop Zen also said an interpretation by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on the term of the next chief executive was a serious matter that would affect international confidence in the city's rule of law because it would be the third time such an interpretation had been made. He said an interpretation seemed unavoidable, given that the question of whether the new chief executive should serve a two-year or five-year term was such a difficult one to resolve. If there was no interpretation, the whole election process would be dragged out. Bishop Zen said the Catholic Church advocated democracy but would not openly support any particular candidate, since doing so might cause a rift among church followers. He expressed hope that acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who is a devout Catholic, would act according to his conscience. Speaking on RTHK's Accountability programme, Bishop Zen said: 'I hope the chief executive will have the courage to tell the central government of the Hong Kong people's voices, that they want greater democracy and an earlier introduction of universal suffrage. It doesn't mean that we want to be hostile towards anybody.' He criticised those people who had close relations with Beijing for failing to explain Hong Kong people had a friendly attitude towards Beijing. A day after former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa announced his resignation, Bishop Zen said that being a Catholic was not a guarantee that Mr Tsang would be a good chief executive. He said some actions Mr Tsang had handled in the past were 'hideous'. Bishop Zen said yesterday he wanted the public to know that Mr Tsang's decisions did not represent the views of the Catholic Church despite his religious beliefs, while adding he understood the constraints faced by Mr Tsang in the ruling team. Although faith could help a person handle his work and religious matters, he said politics was too complex an issue. 'Politics is very complicated. It's very difficult to make individual judgments. It is especially difficult for an individual to change the status quo,' he said. 'If the whole situation is very complicated, one person alone can't make a breakthrough.' Bishop Zen revealed that he once told Mr Tsang at a cocktail reception that it would be better for Mr Tsang to stick with his job as chief secretary. 'He said: 'Do I have a choice?'' Bishop Zen said Mr Tsang agreed with him that things became more difficult the higher one's position.