Hong Kong's political development beginning with the 2012 chief executive election is a 'blank sheet of paper', Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said yesterday. Mr Tsang told more than 300 district councillors and local representatives that there needed to be a consensus on the universal suffrage model the city adopted. In his second 'town hall' meeting on last week's policy address, he said the city had 'a clear goal'. 'We need to achieve universal suffrage. But on universal suffrage we have to be clear and we have to have a consensus.' He then questioned what design the electoral system should assume. 'Regardless, I think starting from 2012 it is a blank sheet of paper. We need to approach it from this way and think clearly about how we will elect the future chief executive and how we will elect our future legislative body.' Mr Tsang had hinted at the possibility of universal suffrage by 2012 in comments made in Singapore in July. 'Other than 2007 and 2008, it is possible to implement universal suffrage any time, including 2012,' he said. It was the first time he explicitly mentioned the possibility. On Monday, sources close to the situation disclosed that President Hu Jintao might set the seal on a road map for democracy in Hong Kong when he visited next year, if a consensus was reached in the city. The central government was also considering a dual-tier model for 2012, requiring candidates to gain a certain level of support to gain nomination, the sources said. Participants who attended yesterday's meeting at Leighton Hill Community Hall in Causeway Bay said the question-and-answer session had few surprises. Eastern District councillor Joseph Lai Chi-keong, of the Democratic Party, said he asked about the pace of democratisation. He said Mr Tsang should fight for universal suffrage beyond his term, which ends in eight months. Mr Lai said Mr Tsang reiterated the need to study different Asian democracies and find the right model for Hong Kong. 'It was like he was talking about a comparative politics class, something you would study in university,' he said. 'But I could see from his response that he has the intention and heart to fight for universal suffrage, so that leads me to have some hope, at least.'