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EU lawmakers have chosen centre-right Maltese lawmaker Roberta Metsola, as only the third woman to head the European Parliament, despite controversy over her anti-abortion stance.

Metsola - a member of the largest bloc, the European People’s Party won a large majority with 458 votes to become the third woman to head the chamber after a deal between the leading political groupings.

Elected on the day she turns 43, the politician from the European Union's smallest nation becomes the youngest president ever to run the chamber. She takes over at a time of mourning for the legislature as it marks the sudden death last week of its speaker David Sassoli.

Metsola was eventually elected as an MEP on her third try, in 2013, on the ticket of Malta's Nationalist Party.




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