London: In a historic move opposing the widespread homophobia prevalent in the Balkans, a gay woman was appointed as the new Prime Minister of Serbia. 41-year-old Ana Brnabic, a non-party technocrat and a graduate of the University of Hull in England was appointed as the new Prime Minister, in the same week as the appointment of Leo Varadkar as the first gay Prime Minister of Ireland.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who picked Brnabic to succeed him as prime minister following his election as president in a landslide victory in April, is expected to remain the most powerful figure in the country, as reported by The Guardian. He said the Socialist foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, who has been standing in as prime minister, would “essentially lead the political part” of the government.
Brnabic entered politics just last year when she became Serbia’s first openly gay minister, heading the ministry for public administration and local self-government. She graduated in Hull with a marketing MBA in 2001, post which she returned to Serbia to work in the wind power industry and US-funded development projects.
Brnabic will take charge as the country prepares for EU membership while retaining its diplomatic ties with Russia, and a growing bond with Beijing. Although the role of prime minister is the most powerful constitutionally, Vucic is almost universally seen as retaining a grip on power via his leadership of the ruling Serbian Progressive party and his influence in various organs of state.