Estonia chooses EU accountant as first female president

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Estonia finally has chosen a new president, who will be the Baltic country's first female leader.

After two failed votes and weeks of heated debate, lawmakers on Monday unanimously elected European Union accountant Kersti Kaljulaid in an 81-0 vote, with 20 members absent or abstaining.

The 46-year-old Kaliulaid will succeed President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is stepping down next week after two 5-year terms in the ceremonial post.

The choice of Kaljulaid, who works at the European Court of Auditors, became possible after the six parties in Parliament agreed to propose a political outsider as a single candidate.

The election was preceded by an electoral college's failure to choose a president from among five candidates last month. Lawmakers were unable to pick a president from among four candidates in August.