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Serbia lawmakers elect first female, openly gay prime minister

Serbian lawmakers have elected a lesbian as the country's first female prime minister, making history in the predominantly conservative Balkan country.

Parliament voted 157-55 on Thursday to approve the government of 41-year-old Ana Brnabic, who became the nation's first openly gay head of government.

Serbia's powerful President Aleksandar Vucic nominated the Western-educated Brnabic for the post two weeks ago amid opposition from hard-line nationalists.

Vucic's move was widely seen as an attempt to calm Western concerns that Serbia is getting too close to Russia despite its proclaimed goal of joining the European Union.

Brnabic says Serbia's EU integration will be a priority along with maintaining good relations with Russia. But her government includes openly anti-Western ministers.

Vucic, previously a prime minister, is likely to remain the country's main leader.

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