Serbia’s president on Thursday nominated the highly conservative country’s first openly gay prime minister, a move likely to infuriate both the Christian Orthodox church and ultranationalists.
President Aleksandar Vucic announced that Ana Brnabic, 41, was nominated as the prime minister-designate, which could also make her the first female head of government in the country’s history. Her cabinet needs formal approval by parliament next week.
It was “a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens,” said Vucic, a former extremist-turned-reformist who has promised to boost gay rights as part of efforts to move closer to European Union membership.
“If elected in parliament, I will run the government with dedication and responsibility and I will do my job honestly and with love,” Brnabic told state Tanjug news agency.
Brnabic’s nomination is considered part of Vucic’s apparent turn toward the West despite strong pressure from Russia to maintain its influence in the region. The British-educated Brnabic, a marketing expert, had worked for U.S. companies before she assumed her Serbian government job.
Brnabic is currently Serbia’s minister of public administration and local government. She is not a member of Vucic’s ruling populist Serbian Progressive Party but is considered loyal to him. Full report