Serbia elects ex-nationalist Vucic as new PM

Hard-line nationalist-turned-pro-European reformer Aleksandar Vucic has been elected Serbia’s new prime minister.One hundred ninety-eight members of parliament voted in favor of Vucic and his new Cabinet Sunday, while 23 voted no. Seven abstained.

Vucic told lawmakers they will sleep and eat inside the parliament building until they pass his economic reform package. He said the old way of doing things in Serbia has driven away investors and has failed to create jobs and fight corruption.

The new economic package includes spending cuts and tax increase. The opposition already is dismissing it as populism and empty promises.

Vucic also promises to work toward Serbian membership in the European Union. He says while the EU is not an ideal union, it is the best available, and that Serbia belongs in it.

His conservative Serbian Progressive Party won last month’s parliamentary election by a landslide.