Ana Brnabic nominated to be Serbia's first openly gay prime minister


If parliament confirms the choice of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic - as expected - Ana Brnabic, the current Public Administration and Local Government Minister, will be Serbia's first woman Prime Minister.

Here's everything you need to know.

"I believe Ana Brnabić has all the personal and professional qualities" to be prime minister, Vučić said Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić on Thursday. She was appointed public administration and local government minister past year by Vučic when he was prime minister.

The fluent English-speaking Brnabic had worked for USA companies before she assumed her government job.

"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.

Vucic suggested Brnabic should focus more on economy and matters related with International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, while Ivica Dacic, the Foreign Minister and leader of the co-ruling Socialists, would be responsible for "more political" issues.Although his post is largely ceremonial, Vucic wields huge influence on the ruling coalition through the control of his SNS party.

Brnabic's appointment for the government a year ago was hailed by rights groups as historic for the Balkan country whose gay community often faces discrimination, harassment and violence.

What does this mean for the country?

Brnabic's nomination is considered Vucic's apparent turn toward the West amid strong pressure from Russian Federation to maintain its influence in the region. Vucic is convinced she will "show respect toward those parties she expects to support her, and work on Serbia's betterment".

What have opponents said?

The conservative Dveri group, close to the Serbian Orthodox Church, said Brnabic was obviously appointed under Western pressure.

Brnabic's CV also says she actively participated in the establishment of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development, NALED, in 2006 and invested major efforts in increasing NALED's capacities to represent the business sector, local governments and civil society in Serbia. Vucic's allies hold an overwhelming majority, so the vote is largely a formality.