Door is open for compromise despite vow to fight on for political reform After months of debate amid increasing pressure to drop its call for universal suffrage by 2007, the pro-democracy camp yesterday agreed it would stand firm on its demand - for now. Pro-democracy legislators have urged the government to come up with a timetable and a 'clear road map' on constitutional reform. 'We will definitely carry on fighting for it and will not give up until the last minute. There is no U-turn and we will face up to our electorates,' said Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, of Power for Democracy. But Professor Cheng, who is co-ordinating talks between factions on the way forward, said there was room for negotiation if the government came up with a sincere reform plan that explicitly stated a timetable and a road map towards universal suffrage. 'If there is no timetable and no road map, it means the government lacks sincerity in pushing for democracy and wants to hinder constitutional development and the development of political parties. It has to shoulder all the consequences,' he said. They will organise a forum on the subject next month. The pro-democracy camp has been under intense pressure, especially after the low turnout to this year's July 1 march, to admit defeat on its demands for direct elections of the chief executive in 2007 and legislature in 2008. Many democrats, especially the Democratic Party and the Article 45 Concern Group, have softened their stance and seem willing to accept a reform plan that falls short of universal suffrage by 2007. Democratic Party vice-chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said the Democrats had to be pragmatic as they are a political party. 'At this moment we won't accept anything less than 2007/08, but what if we reach a time when it is impossible for that to happen? Right now is not a good time for a pragmatic party to say otherwise.' One democrat who was at yesterday's meeting said giving the government their bottom line now was equal to admitting defeat. It would weaken their negotiating position when the final report on constitutional reform is released in the autumn. 'Why should we hand over our purse and let the other side see we have $20 while we are bargaining for less?' the democrat said. 'And views are so diverse across the spectrum that it is difficult to reach a concrete consensus.'