The Serbian parliament on Thursday backed conservative Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s new cabinet with 163 to 62 votes, nearly four months after he won a snap election.

Vucic opted for elections halfway through his term, saying that he needs a full four years to implement reforms and guide the country toward EU membership.

His Progressive Party will remain in coalition with the Socialist Party, despite the former having secured more than half of the 250 seats in parliament.

Vucic is a former hard-line anti-West nationalist, who is now looking to push through Serbia's EU membership bid without turning his back on traditional ally Russia.

It took him six hours to read a 280-page presentation of his cabinet and programme, which promises to spur the economy into growth, cut public debt and streamline state administration, forecasting “a golden era for Serbia.”

He delivered the speech largely to supporters, as most of the opposition boycotted it by walking out. The presentation was frequently interrupted by bickering between him and the remaining critics shouting from the benches.

Socialist Party leader and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has retained his cabinet post, alongside Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic.

The reshuffle brought an openly gay person into government for the first time, with Ana Brnabic appointed local government minister, marking a shift in attitudes in a country traditionally hostile to homosexuality.

The new government of Serbia is comprised of the following ministers:

  • Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic
  • First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic    
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic
  • Finance Minister Dusan Vujovic
  • Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic
  • Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Branislav Nedimovic
  • Minister of Energy and Mining Aleksandar Antic
  • Justice Minister Nela Kuburovic
  • Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Ana Brnabic 
  • Defence Minister Zoran Djordjevic
  • Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic
  • Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar
  • Minister of Labour, Employment and Veteran and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin
  • Minister of Youth and Sport Vanja Udovicic
  • Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljevic
  • Ministers without portfolio Jadranka Joksimovic, Slavica Djukic Dejanovic and Milan Krkobabic.

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