The central government should win the trust of pan-democrats by stating publicly that the chief executive and all lawmakers will be elected by 'genuine' universal suffrage in 2017 and 2020 respectively, an executive councillor says. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung also urged parties across the political spectrum to negotiate a deal on the abolition of functional constituencies to pave the way for the election of all legislators by universal suffrage. The former Democratic Party vice-chairman said yesterday that he understood the pan-democrats' fears that the election of the chief executive and all legislators by 'one person, one vote' would turn into 'fake universal suffrage', as Beijing had not spelled out details. 'The central government may reiterate publicly its commitment to the introduction of genuine universal suffrage so as to ease the fears of Hong Kong people, particularly the pan-democratic camp,' he said. 'For example, Beijing should promise that the nomination threshold for the 2017 chief executive election would not be more stringent than that for the 2007 chief executive race, where a candidate only needs to secure nominations from 100 out of 800 members of the Election Committee,' Professor Cheung said. Such a reassurance would be conducive to forging a consensus on electoral reforms in 2012, which was desirable for achieving the goal of full democracy, he said. The National People's Congress Standing Committee decided in December 2007 that the chief executive and all lawmakers could be elected by universal suffrage in 2017 and 2020 respectively. The government plans to launch a public consultation this year on reforms for 2012. The pan-democratic camp maintains that it would not support government proposals for the electoral arrangements in 2012 if the administration did not outline the road map for 2017 and 2020. The camp is pushing for details, such as whether functional constituencies will be abolished in 2020. But the government has resisted pressure to bundle the arrangements for the 2012 elections with those for the election by universal suffrage of the chief executive in 2017 on the grounds that electoral arrangements for 2017 will be a matter for the next chief executive. Professor Cheung said the pan-democrats and government-friendly parties should strive for an agreement on the abolition of functional constituencies. 'If it's difficult to abolish functional constituencies in stages, various political forces may agree to scrap all functional constituencies in one go in 2020.' Professor Cheung, who is also president of the Institute of Education, said the pan-democrats might give up the functional constituencies where they enjoyed strong support in an attempt to persuade the business community and government-friendly camp to follow suit. Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said the pan-democrats had approached major parties in the government-friendly camp last year to discuss the electoral arrangements in 2017 and 2020. 'We have also sounded out the central and Hong Kong governments but their responses were also lukewarm,' he said, adding that the pan-democrats were willing to talk to the pro-government camp and hoped Professor Cheung could facilitate discussions.