The Democrats yesterday put a proposal to Chief Secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan seeking to reduce barriers to constitutional development if universal suffrage in 2007 was impossible. But the Democratic Party insisted it was not backtracking on demands for a timetable on full democracy. 'The Democratic Party supports universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008. But we also know the chances for this are slim, so we put forward a reasonable proposal that contains elements of democracy other than universal suffrage in 2007,' said party chairman Lee Wing-tat. 'We urged [Mr Hui] to rethink the fact that they didn't actually, in the past few months, discuss road maps and a timetable [for constitutional development].' Mr Lee said the National People's Congress Standing Committee's decision to reject universal suffrage in 2007 did not mention discussions on a timetable or a ban on road maps. Mr Hui yesterday held a 90-minute meeting with eight Democratic Party members, who described it as a 'long and heated debate'. Democrat lawmaker Yeung Sum said the debate would continue in every Legislative Council term if there was no timetable or road map for universal suffrage. 'A timetable on universal suffrage is very important because people would have a target,' he said. During the meeting, Mr Hui also clarified that the five new seats in Legco would be filled by district councillors, while the Democrats asked him about a possible visit to Beijing by legislators this year for direct dialogue with the central government on constitutional development.