Ana Brnabi¡ is the first female prime minister and the first gay prime minister
Serbia has appointed a lesbian prime minister in what's been described as a "double first" for the country.
Anna BrnabiÄ‡ has made history as the country's first female prime minister and the first gay prime minister, in a country where violent homophobia and discrimination is all too prevalent.
Serbian president Aleksander VuÄiÄ‡ announced yesterday that BrnabiÄ‡, would be given a mandate to form a new government, describing her as "hard working".
Prior to her appointment as prime minister, BrnabiÄ‡, who studied at the University of Hull, headed up the Balkan nation's ministry for public administration and local self-government, and worked for several years in the wind power industry.
BrnabiÄ‡'s appointment has been welcomed by activists in the country, including Belgrade Pride's Goran MiletiÄ‡, who told the Guardian: "Even in some western countries it would be big news and a positive signal if a gay or lesbian person became prime minister or minister.
"It is even more important for a country where 65% believe that homosexuality is an illness and 78% think that homosexuality should not be expressed outside homes. The appointment of a lesbian can only be a positive message."
But her appointment has been criticised by others, who describe it as "window dressing" in an attempt to make Serbia appear more progressive than it really is, as it prepares for EU candidacy. After all, the prime minister has little power and it will be VuÄiÄ‡ who makes the important decisions.
"The problem is that it will mask the real picture of the situation of civil and human rights in Serbia," said political scientist Boban StojanoviÄ‡. "The choice of a member of the LGBT community for prime minister will be used as an indicator of the state of civil and human rights, and that is not realistic."
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