Nominations for the district council elections start today as political parties put up record numbers of hopefuls. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong has put forward 171 candidates while the Democrats have fielded 165. The Liberals and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood have 33 candidates and The Frontier eight. The parties' line-up has already outnumbered the 390 seats up for grabs on November 28 and more are expected to contest the polls, including candidates from the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, the pro-Taiwan 123 Democratic Alliance and the Citizens Party. The election watchdog has already received a complaint over the display of an advertisement before nominations began. Ten contenders have already sought clarification of their eligibility from the Nomination Advisory Committee, which was set up in 1995 after a candidacy row surrounding dissident Lau San-ching. Mr Lau, who served a 10-year sentence for counter-revolutionary charges on the mainland, was disqualified for failing to meet the seven-year residency requirement, which is now shortened to three years. The 18 district councils will begin their four-year terms next year after the provisional district boards cease operating on December 31. There will also be 102 appointed seats and 27 ex-officio seats for rural committee chairmen, bringing the total to 519.