Hopefuls for the first SAR Legislative Council polls can begin lodging their nominations today. The provisional legislature ended its controversial term last night to a mixture of praise and protest. At least 78 independents and party-backed candidates will be vying for the 20 geographical seats up for grabs in the five multi-seat constituencies. Some will join contestants for the functional sectors in submitting their nomination forms as soon as the electoral offices open at 9 am. Nominations close on April 24. Yesterday, the Democrats condemned the provisional legislature and vowed that once they won seats in the new legislature, they would move to alter controversial laws passed by the interim body set up by Beijing at the handover. Provisional legislators, however, denied they were a rubber-stamp and, at the end of a two-day session, lauded their completion of an 'historic mission'. President Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said the body had accomplished its job amid difficult circumstances. History should be left to judge its achievements and the value of its existence, she said, adding that the body would continue to take complaints from the public until June 30. Mrs Fan is among 54 of the 60 provisional legislators who are expected to bid for a seat in Legco.