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Serbia’s Vucic Says Prime Minister to Step Down in Reshuffle

(Bloomberg) -- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said Ana Brnabic will step down as prime minister to become parliamentary speaker after leading the government for almost seven years.

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The Progressive Party may decide on a new premier next week, Vucic said Wednesday in Belgrade after a meeting of the party leadership. UK-educated and openly gay Brnabic became the Balkan nation’s first woman prime minister when she was appointed in June 2017.

She has since become Serbia’s longest-serving government leader in more than a century. Vucic cited a need for “change of energy” without elaborating on the reason for the move.

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The dominant political party that Vucic co-founded and Brnabic joined in 2019 won in early general elections held in December, keeping a comfortable majority in Serbia’s 250-seat assembly, despite opposition allegations of irregularities and unfair election conditions. A new Cabinet may be formed later this month.

“She has really deserved to perform one of the highest positions in the state,” Vucic told reporters.

The announcement came as Brnabic was in Bucharest in neighboring Romania for the European People’s Party Congress. She thanked Vucic, saying it’s a great honor and a great challenge.

(Updates with background and quotes from third paragraph.)

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