Serbian PM Ana Brnabic at last forms government

Despite the fact that current Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic (Serbian Progressive Party/SNS) was given the mandate to form a government following snap elections in early April of this year, Brnabic only announced that she had formed a new cabinet Sunday, Oct. 23—with this perhaps just in the nick of time, as external pressures from the US, Russia and the EU have increased on both the government and current President Aleksandar Vucic.

The third Cabinet will be composed of SNS members, as well as of those belonging to the Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV), United Serbia (JS), the Party of United Pensioners of Serbia (PUPS) and the Social Democrats (SDPS). Likewise, the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ) and the Justice and Reconciliation Party (SPP) will serve to back the government on motions of confidence.

Ministers will include:

Ana Brnabić, prime minister
Jelena Tanasković, minister of agriculture
Tomislav Žigmanov, minister of minority and civil rights
Irena Vujović, minister of the environment
Branko Ružić, minister of education
Goran Vesić, minister of construction, transport and infrastructure
Bratislav Gašić, minister of the interior
Ivica Dačić, foreign minister and deputy prime minister
Miloš Vučević, deputy prime minister and minister of defense
Siniša Mali, deputy prime minister and minister of finance
Dubravka Negre, minister of mining and energy
Maja Popović, minister of justice
Aleksandar Martinović, minister of public administration
Tomislav Momirović, minister of trade
Rade Basta, minister of the economy
Tanja Miščević, minister of European integration
Jelena Begović, Minister of science, innovation and technological development
Danica Grujičić, minister of health
Nikola Selaković, minister of labour, veteran and social issues
Darja Kisić, minister of family and demographics
Husein Memić, minister of tourism and youth
Zoran Gajić, minister of sports
Maja Gojković, minister of culture
Milan Krkobabić, minister for rural issues

The establishment of a government probably comes as a sigh of relief not only to Brnabic, but also to Vucic, who has been in the cross hairs of local nationalists, the EU, the US and Russia over recognizing Kosovo (or not) as an independent state; energy supply and sanctions against Russia (or not).

That said, Vucic—who at one point even hinted at stepping down—stated unequivocally Monday that Serbia will not levy sanctions on Russia unless directly threatened, which is unlikely to please the EU or the United States. On the other hand, while his room to manoeuvre on Kosovo is clearly limited by both party support and that of the wider citizenry, US Deputy Assistant Secretary and Envoy to the Balkans Gabriel Escobar stated that an agreement on Kosovo may come to fruition in weeks “and not years,” as reported by both Kosovo television and the news site Balkan Insight.

Photo of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic courtesy of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Republic of Serbia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

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