Serbia’s president has nominated Ana Brnabic as the country’s next prime minister, making her the first openly gay premier in the Balkan region and the first Serbian woman in the top job.
“I decided to propose Ana Brnabic as prime minister-designate to the parliament of Serbia,” President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters.
Brnabic’s government needs formal approval by Serbia’s parliament next week.
Vucic called the appointment “a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens.” Brnabic is currently government minister of public administration and local government.
Brnabic’s appointment to the government last year was hailed by rights groups as historic for the Balkan country whose gay community often faces discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Vucic, a former extremist-turned-reformist, has promised to boost gay rights as part of efforts to move closer to European Union membership. He was sworn in as Serbia’s president on May 31 to succeed Tomislav Nikolic.
Brnabic, 41, was educated in the United States and the United Kingdom.
An expert on public administration, she established the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) in 2006.
Until her appointment to the Serbian government she served as the president of the executive board of NALED.
She also worked as a coordinator of the USAID program for the economic development of local communities in Serbia.
In 2013, she was declared businesswoman of the year in Serbia.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
Source – Radio Free Europe