"The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures."
Details of procedures to be adopted are found in Annex I to the Basic Law where the same expression "broadly representative" is used to describe the constituency of the Election Committee notwithstanding its only representing a tiny section of the total number of registered electors.
The focus of initial controversy was on the timetable for progress towards universal suffrage but, having extracted a promise of a timetable of reform (2016 for the legislature and 2017 for the Chief Executive) heated debate ensued over the details of the election systems to be employed. Positions on both sides hardened in early 2013, with the newly appointed chairman of the PRC government's Law Committee, Qiao Xiaoyang, espousing hard-to-define pre-conditions on CE candidature, ("love China and Hong Kong" and "not oppose the Central Government") including declaring that Beijing would refuse to appoint an unsupportive Hong Kong CE even if democratically elected. Pro-democracy groups formed the Alliance for True Democracy in support of the Occupy Central with Love and Peace protest movement devised by University of Hong KongAssociate ProfessorBenny Tai, demanding unconditional universal suffrage.