More women candidates are fielded in the 12th General Election to woo the sizable female voters in the State. Of the seven women who will be contesting in the March 8 poll, three are new faces, namely Sabah Progressive Party’s Wanita Chief Datuk Chua Soon Bui, Parti Bersatu Sabah’s Tandek Wanita chief Anita Baranting and Umno Kalabakan Wanita chief Datuk Hamisah Samad. Dubbed the SAPP iron lady, Chua, who is also the former Tawau Member of Parliament, was picked by the party leadership to replace the incumbent, Shim Paw Fatt, who won the seat in the 2004 general election. Another new face, Baranting was given the mandate by PBS president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan to replace incumbent Tandek assemblyman Datuk Maximus Ongkili. Ongkili had in previous election held two seats “the Tandek State and Kota Marudu Parliamentary seats. he, however, retained the MP seat. Hamisah, on another hand. will be contesting for the Tanjong Batu seat, replacing the incumbent, Mohd Kamil Kassim. All the existing women candidates would be defending their seats, except for Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun whose seat was swapped with Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin. Azizah, the incumbent Beaufort Member of Parliament was replaced by Lajim, while she took over the latter’s Klias State seat. The three other remaining women candidates are Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Ayid (N12Karambunai-Umno); Jornah Mozihim(N4 Matunggong-PBS); and Melanie Chia (N16 Luyang SAPP).