The chief executive is set to appoint a moderate democrat to his reshuffled Executive Council, but democrats have already dismissed the move as window-dressing. Academic Anthony Cheung Bing-leung is widely tipped to be the only democrat on Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's appointment list. An ex-legislator and former Democratic Party vice-chairman, he is seen as one of few democrats acceptable to the mainland. Professor Cheung, who heads the pro-democracy think-tank SynergyNet, did not deny reports he would join Exco. 'I will not comment at this stage. But I will give an account when what's being speculated becomes truth,' he said. The professor of public and social administration at City University serves on several government advisory panels. He quit the Democratic Party leadership in 1998. Democratic Party legislator Cheung Man-kwong said appointing Professor Cheung to Exco would be window-dressing. 'Such an arrangement, if confirmed, is in line with the prevailing political atmosphere, which stresses harmony and communication. But I don't think it would help improve relations with the democrats,' he said. Independent legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip, a former member of the Democratic Party who was at odds with Professor Cheung, said if Mr Tsang appointed the academic it would be because the chief executives hoped he could help create an atmosphere of harmony. 'I don't think he [Professor Cheung] can represent the pro-democracy camp and he certainly will not have a strong will to fight for democracy,' Mr Chan said. 'The only reason to appoint him is that he will compromise and can sell out the interests of the pro-democracy camp. Getting him on board can create the illusion that someone from the pro-democracy camp is included in the cabinet.' Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Article 45 Concern Group, said: 'If Anthony Cheung is appointed, it will only be window-dressing because he cannot represent the pro-democracy camp, although I don't believe he will sell out our interests. 'It only shows Donald Tsang does not intend to revamp Exco to include more voices, as we can see that after dragging out the issue for so long, he only ended up appointing an academic.' Mr Tong said Mr Tsang had not approached the moderate pro-democracy grouping. Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said the party leadership would not comment before the new Exco members were named. SynergyNet vice-chairman Alex Chan Wo-shun said he and colleagues had been surprised by the reports of Professor Cheung's possible appointment. 'I am quite surprised,' he said. 'Personally I am not very excited or enthusiastic about it, but it is not something totally unacceptable to us. We support liaison with the government and hope to induce changes in the establishment.' The Chief Executive's Office declined to comment.