Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said yesterday the election of the next Hong Kong chief executive was not rigged and insisted the 800-member Election Committee that would choose the leader was broadly representative. Speaking before meeting Tung Chee-hwa in Beijing, Mr Qian said he believed Mr Tung could win with flying colours: 'I think [he can] certainly grab the majority of votes.' Mr Tung declared his candidacy last week. He will be declared re-elected uncontested if there is no other candidate at the end of nominations in late February. Mr Qian disagreed with some politicians' suggestions that the election was rigged. 'I don't think so. The views of the public will be conveyed through the election. These 800 members are elected, not appointed,' he said. Earlier, Mr Tung met Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office head Liao Hui and his deputies, Xu Ze and Chen Zuo'er. Information Co-ordinator Stephen Lam Sui-lung said there were further talks on a 'quasi-free-trade' arrangement between Hong Kong and the mainland. The deal would be similar to that between certain WTO countries. He said the WTO allowed members to enter into free-trade agreements among themselves, provided the privileges granted were not worse than those stipulated by the WTO. Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung will lead a team to discuss the proposal with the mainland's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation.