Twenty-nine candidates will be fielded by the DAB to run for the 30 directly elected seats in September's Legislative Council poll, with the party seeking to defend 12 seats in the legislature. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong central committee last night endorsed its candidates' list, with one ticket in each of the five geographical constituencies. Kowloon City district councillor Starry Lee Wai-king will be the only new face leading a ticket. She will run in Kowloon West, with legislator Tsang Yok-sing moving to lead the Hong Kong Island team. Another incumbent, Choy So-yuk, will be second on Mr Tsang's ticket. Party chairman Tam Yiu-chung and legislator Cheung Hok-ming are seeking re-election in New Territories West, with vice-chairman Lau Kong-wah and legislator Chan Kam-lam standing again in New Territories East and Kowloon East respectively. Former special assistant to the chief executive Gary Chan Hak-kan, who left the government last month, will join Mr Lau's ticket as the second candidate. While functional constituency contenders will be named next week, Mr Tam said the order in which geographical constituency candidates would run, as announced last night, was subject to final changes. He said the DAB aimed to at least maintain its 2004 election results. 'This year's battle is more difficult than the previous one, as more competitors have emerged,' he said. Twelve candidates from the party were returned in 2004, including Chan Yuen-han and Wong Kwok-hing, who ran under the banner of the Federation of Trade Unions. The DAB now has 11 lawmakers following the death of former party chairman Ma Lik last year. Meanwhile, independent nurse and solicitor Willis Wan Tak-choi, who is also president of the Hong Kong Legal Nurse Consultants group, said he would run in the health services functional constituency. Mr Wan has worked as a chief officer for hospital and personnel affairs at the Hong Kong Correctional Services Department, and qualified as a lawyer in 2000.