Serbia President names Ana Brnabic its first openly gay and first female Prime Minister

Eastern European country is known for its poor record on LGBT rights

Rachel Roberts@TheRachelPaper
Thursday 15 June 2017 18:20
Ana Brnabic looks set to be Serbia's first female and first openly gay Prime Minister
Ana Brnabic looks set to be Serbia's first female and first openly gay Prime Minister

Serbia's President has nominated the minister Ana Brnabic as Prime Minister, the first woman and first openly-gay politician to occupy the role in the highly conservative Balkan country.

Ms Brnabic, who is an independent, became Serbia's first openly gay minister last year, making headlines around the world because of the country's poor record on LGBT rights.

President Aleksandar Vucic announced Ana Brnabic is his official nomination as Prime Minister-designate. Her government needs formal approval by Serbia's parliament next week.

Vucic calls it "a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens." Ms Brnabic is currently government minister of public administration and local government.

Her appointment into government last year was hailed by human rights groups as historic for the country whose gay community continues to face discrimination, harassment and violence.

The 41-year-old new Prime Minister is a former "businesswoman of the year" in her country and was educated partly in the UK and in the US. She speaks both English and Russian.

Amnesty International has identified Serbia as one of a number of countries where there is a marked lack of will to tackle homophobia and transphobia.

Households headed by same-sex couples in the country are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Mr Vucic, a former extremist-turned-reformist, has promised to improve gay rights as part of efforts to move closer to European Union membership.

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