Pro-democracy legislators have vowed to oppose the constitutional reform proposal, calling it an insult to the public, and urged people to join a march on December 4 to fight for democracy. Mainland officials and pro-government parties hailed the proposal as a step towards greater democracy. Democrats said the only way to force the government to make concessions was to stage a repeat of the July 1, 2003 march against the Article 23 security bill, and get as many people onto the streets as possible. But pro-government legislator Chan Kam-lam said anyone who joined such a march would be damaging social harmony. Making a show of unity, the 24 pro-democracy legislators present pledged to stick together and oppose the reform proposal because it is 'undemocratic'. Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said it was unacceptable because it lacked a timetable for, and a road map towards, universal suffrage, kept appointed district councillors and did not broaden representation in the functional constituencies or election committee. 'This proposal takes democracy backwards,' Mr Lee said. His colleague Martin Lee Chu-ming said: 'This is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Hong Kong, who deserve universal suffrage right now.' Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, of the Article 45 Concern Group of barristers, urged the public to give their fullest support to a march because there was still hope of a better deal. James Tien Pei-chun, chairman of the Liberal Party, said his party decided to support the proposal after consulting the business sector, because the appointed members in the district councils included many business and professional figures. 'The plan is acceptable. It includes balanced participation and also adheres to the principle of gradual moves towards universal suffrage,' Mr Tien said. Ma Lik, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said it was acceptable for the report to contain no timetable, because the proposal expanded democratic elements in the system. Li Gang , deputy director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, said the proposal was in line with the situation in Hong Kong and the principle of developing the city's political system in a gradual fashion as stipulated in the Basic Law. 'I believe various sectors in Hong Kong will actively support the proposals.' Chambers of commerce and the Federation of Hong Kong Industries welcomed the proposals. Eden Woon Yi-teng, chief executive of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, said: 'To give the people of Hong Kong more voice in governing [the city] is good and can result in better policies. However, the government still needs to lay out a longer-term chart ... for universal suffrage.'