The constitutional affairs chief yesterday stepped up attacks against the democrats for 'forcing' the community to accept universal suffrage in 2012. Likening the debate on the universal-suffrage timetable to a football match, Stephen Lam Sui-lung said the democrats could not insist on winning the battle from the outset. 'You've got to be fair when playing the game. You shouldn't insist you have to be the winner and have to win by two to three goals when the match hasn't even started,' he said. 'You can't just say you want it in 2012 and make the whole of society rally behind you. There should be public discussions,' he told the City Forum. He was responding to Democratic Party legislator Martin Lee Chu-ming's criticisms that the government's promise to discuss the road map to universal suffrage at the Commission on Strategic Development was a delaying tactic. Mr Lam conceded that the government had made no progress in lobbying democrat votes to fulfil the Basic Law requirement of having two-thirds support in the Legislative Council. But the government would continue to solicit support. Under the electoral reform plan, all district councillors would join the Election Committee to elect the Chief Executive in 2007. In 2008, five extra Legco seats would be allocated for the district councils, as well as a further five directly elected seats. Mr Lee said a mass protest was the only way to fight the package if the government refused to exclude appointed councillors and promise a timetable on universal suffrage. Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Choy So-yuk said the democrats should not use the package for political bargaining. Liberal Party vice-chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, also an executive councillor, said the democrats' no-compromise attitude would lead nowhere. She admitted the Liberals initially had doubts on whether giving all new Legco seats to district councils was in line with the principle of 'balanced participation'. But she was convinced it was a good move to help groom political talent. Meanwhile, the Electoral Affairs Commission chairman, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, has weighed in on the debate over whether it would be vote-rigging if the district councillors appointed by the chief executive could in turn select the chief executive. The Appeal Court judge said: 'This is just expanding the electorate base. How can this be regarded as planting votes?' Ms Choy, who had been critical of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen for allegedly alienating himself from the pro-Beijing camp, showered Mr Tsang with warm praise. On RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong, Ms Choy said she and the DAB were impressed by the favourable responses to the chief executive's first policy address. 'Obviously, the chief executive meant what he said when he declared his goal to be a harmonious society. He has got his direction right and he is striding firmly forward,' Ms Choy said.