Serbia’s PM Brnabic presents new government

By bne IntelliNews October 25, 2020

Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic presented the members of her second government on October 25 after weeks of delays.

Brnabic was nominated for second term by the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) earlier in October. However, President Aleksandar Vucic, who is also the leader of the SNS, announced that the next government will have a short mandate and an early election will be held along with the next presidential election by April 2022.

In Brnabic’s new government, half of the candidates for new ministers are new and the other half are currently members of her cabinet.

Brnabic said that, of the 23 ministers, 11 will be women, and that six of the candidates were not previously related to the SNS or the party’s traditional coalition partne,– the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) led by Ivica Dacic, who was elected parliament speaker on October 23.

Finance Minister Sinisa Mali, Agriculture Minister Branislav Nedimovic, Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar, Youth and Sports Minister Vanja Udovicic, European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic and State Administration and Local Self-administration Minister Marija Obradovic will keep their posts in the next government.

Current Transport and Infrastructure Minister Zorana Mihajlovic will head the mining and energy ministry instead, current state secretary Tatjana Matic will become tourism and telecommunications minister, Labour Minister Aleksandar Vulin will head the interior affairs minister and Vucic’s general secretary Nikola Selakovic will become foreign affairs minister.

Current advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic, Ratko Dmitrovic, will head the new ministry of family, children and demography. In the next government, there will be another new ministry, for human and minority rights, which will be headed by veteran Democratic Party MP Gordana Comic.

The economy ministry will be headed by Andjelka Atanaskovic, current director of the Prva Petoletka company. Current head of the Savski Venac municipality was picked for environment protection minister. Current Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic will become defence minister.

Current state secretary of the tourism ministry, Tatjana Matic, will be promoted to minister. Maja Popovic will head the justice ministry, while Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, who is currently a member of the crisis team tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will head the labour ministry. The family, children and demography ministry will be headed by journalist Ratko Dmitrovic. Former parliament speaker Maja Gojkovic will become culture minister.

Milan Krkobabic, current minister without portfolio, will head the ministry for villages. Businessman Tomislav Momirovic will head the construction ministry.

The SNS is yet to decide on one minister without portfolio who will be nominated from the SPS.

The SNS won more than 60% of the votes on the June 21 general election. Earlier in October, Vucic announced that his party will enter into coalition with its current coalition partner the SPS and with the Serbian Patriotic Alliance (SPAS).

Vucic has also said the next government will focus on the coronavirus pandemic and on improving the capacity of the healthcare system.

The government will also have to defend Serbia’s interests in talks with Kosovo, as well as continue the fight against the mafia. It will also have to put efforts into speeding up reforms, particularly regarding the rule of law, European integration and human rights.

Vucic has also said that the next government will have to aim for 6% economic growth in 2021.

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