BELGRADE: Serbia’s President on Thursday (Friday in Manila) named an openly gay woman as the next prime minister, a milestone move for the deeply conservative country and the wider Balkan region. Ana Brnabic, 41, will take the premiership less than a year after she entered politics, becoming public administration minister last August. “I decided to propose Ana Brnabic as prime minister-designate to the parliament of Serbia,” President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters. “I believe that Brnabic has professional and personal qualities to be prime minister… and that along with other ministers she will work on improvement and progress of our Serbia,” he added. Brnabic becomes Serbia’s first female prime minister and the first openly gay premier in the Balkans, where homophobia remains widespread. Serbia is home to about seven million people, most of them Orthodox Christians.