BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbia's parliament approved a new pro-Western coalition government 30 minutes before a deadline that would have forced fresh elections.
Out of 244 lawmakers present in the 250-seat parliament, 133 deputies voted for, 106 against, and five abstained in a public vote for the new Cabinet of pro-democracy parties led by acting conservative Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.
Serbia's national television broadcast live the parliamentary session that ended with a swearing-in ceremony just before midnight Tuesday.
The coalition government was formed nearly four months after parliamentary elections Jan. 21 when no single party won a majority to set up a Cabinet on its own.
Kostunica said his government will be paying special attention to keeping the mainly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo province within Serbia.
Another major task will be the arrest and handing over to a U.N. tribunal of war crime suspect Ratko Mladic, which is a precondition for Belgrade's association talks with the European Union.
Friday, Kostunica broke his coalition with the anti-European Serbian Radical Party of ultranationalists and struck a deal on a coalition with the Democratic Party of Serbian President Boris Tadic.
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