Executive Council member Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun yesterday named moderates Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Dennis Kwok as pan-democrats who could be allowed to run for chief executive in 2017, citing their willingness to engage with Beijing. Law, who led Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's transitional office after the 2012 election, named the Civic Party pair as she attempted to dismiss the notion that no pan-democrat could run for the top job under Beijing's framework for the 2017 poll. But Tong gave a cool response, saying Law's comments could put him under heavy pressure from fellow pan-democrats. Law was speaking to DBC radio yesterday, a day after former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa said opponents of the Communist Party would not be allowed to run when the city's voters chose their leader for the first time. Asked whether Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit and chairwoman Audrey Eu Yuet-mee would be blocked, Tung said "they know it better than others", implying they would not win majority approval from the 1,200-strong nominating committee that will pick two or three candidates in 2017. But Law said whether a candidate could be nominated would depend on their words and deeds on the question of whether they intended to overthrow or resist the Communist Party. "I'm sure only a handful of people would be barred," she said. "We can't say all pan-democrats would not be able to run. "Tong and Kwok are willing to communicate with the central government and build mutual trust. I believe such pan-democrats would have the chance to become chief executive candidates in future." Tong and Kwok, both barristers, joined a Bar Association visit to Beijing last week, during which they met senior officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs. Pan-democrats have vowed to vote down the reform plan, and the government must win over at least four of the 27-strong bloc for the package to win the required two-thirds majority in the Legislative Council Tong is one of its key lobbying targets and has often attracted the ire of colleagues for his moderate stance. But he yesterday reaffirmed his opposition to the reform package. "If some people believe I would support the government's blueprint because I may have the opportunity to run in the chief executive race, it would be an insult to me," he said. He accepted Law's comments were made without malice but said they could lead to further criticism from other pan-democrats. Kwok said Law's remarks confirmed public suspicions that the reform framework was not about rule of law but rather "political screening ruled by men".