Carrie Lam on Tuesday reiterated the authorities' claim that a committee which will vet candidates for future elections in Hong Kong will not screen people out based on their political views.
What it will do is weed out any "non-patriots", she explained.
Other than this, serving the people and complying with the national security law will be the considerations when it comes to election candidates, the chief executive insisted.
Before going into this week's Executive Council meeting, a reporter asked Lam what she made of public concerns that the looming electoral overhaul will prohibit pro-democracy figures from standing for election.
"I can respond to your question about whether certain types of people with certain political beliefs are still able to run for election, the answer is yes," Lam said.
"They have to fulfil a requirement – which actually is in our electoral laws – that they have to bear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR and also to uphold the Basic Law," she said, adding that abiding by the national security law is another requirement.
"For people who hold different political beliefs, who are more inclined towards more democracy, or who are more conservative, who belong to the left or belong to the right, as long as they meet this very fundamental and basic requirement, I don’t see why they could not run for election."
The drastic changes planned to the electoral system will see the number of Legco seats filled by ordinary Hong Kong voters cut from 35 to 20, even as the total number of lawmakers is increased from 70 to 90.
The CE election committee will pick 40 lawmakers – twice as many as the public – with functional constituencies filling the remaining 30 seats.