Serbia's President Just Formally Nominated The Country's First Openly Gay Prime Minister

Aleksandar Vucic has nominated a gay woman to become prime minister and the conservative right aren't impressed.

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Following the news the Republic of Ireland welcomed its first gay politician to become the next taoiseach (prime miniser) earlier this month, it's now the turn of Serbia to make history in politics.

Yesterday, Serbia's president Aleksandar Vucic nominated the highly conservative country's first openly gay prime minister, Ana Bnbabic, to become PM, which - if approved by parliament next week - would make her the first female head of government in Serbia's history, according to the Telegraph.

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Former extremist-turned-reformist Vucic said it was 'a difficult decision reached in the interest of Serbia and its citizens', following recent promises he will try to improve gay rights in the country.

'If elected in parliament, I will run the government with dedication and responsibility and I will do my job honestly and with love,' British-educated Bnarbic told state Tanjug news agency.

Having been given the green light by Brussels to formally start negotiations as part of its bid to join the European Union by 2020 last year, Vucic's decision is widely seen to be proof of the government's wish to improve relations with the EU.

Vucic said of Bnarbic, who has previous worked for US companies as a marketing expert: 'I believe she has professional skills and personal qualities.'

'I'm convinced she will work hard,' he added.

Bnabic currently serves as Serbia's minister of public administration and local government. Her appointment last year by Vucic was praised by rights groups in a country whose LGBTQ communities have suffered decades of prejudice, discrimination and violence.

However, while Bnbabic's appointment might be a historic moment for the country, she's quick to point out she doesn't want to be recognised solely for her sexuality.

Gay Pride march in Serbia, 2014

'Hopefully this will blow over in three of four days, and then I won't be known as the gay minister,' she told the Associated Press.

However, Bnbabic's conservative opposition who are reportedly close to the Serbian Orthodox Church, aren't impressed with Vucic's choice.

'Is it possible that the ruling majority has no other candidate for the prime minister-designate but the one imposed by the West, which dictates all the moves by this government?' asked the party.

Time will tell how the country responds to Bnbabic's nomination in the weeks to come.

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