ZAGREB, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Croatian parliament on late Friday approved a new cabinet led by a non-partisan Tihomir Oreskovic, with 83 votes in favor, 61 against and five abstentions, ending a three month deadlock following the elections on November 8 last year.
Oreskovic was nominated by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and a small party Bridge, who formed a coalition after weeks of post-election negotiations. The elections failed to produce a majority needed for forming a new government.
Oreskovic, raised in Canada, is a former financial officer at a pharmaceutical company. He was chosen for his business expertise and was expected to deal with the country's financial and economic problems, local media reported.
The leader of HDZ Tomislav Karamarko and Bridge leader Bozo Petrov will both become deputy prime ministers.
Six ministers of the 23-member government came from the Bridge party, which was formed by a group of mayors and independents three years ago and won the third place in the elections.
Zdravko Maric and Tomislav Panenic will become the ministers of finance and the economy, respectively. They have to deal with public debts near 90 percent of Croatia's GDP, a budget deficit about 4.5 percent of its GDP, and 17.9 percent unemployment.
The new finance minister Maric, 39, comes from Croatia's largest privately-owned Agrokor food group where he served as an executive for strategy and capital markets. He has a master's degree of economics and served as a state secretary in the finance ministry in 2008.
Panenic, 43, a member of Parliament from the Bridge, also earned a master's degree of economics and was the mayor of a municipality in eastern Croatia.
Miro Kovac, a diplomat and the HDZ secretary for international relations, will serve as foreign minister.
At the parliament session, Oreskovic pledged his government would primarily focus on economic growth, competitiveness and the quality of life.
Oreskovic, 49, became the first Croatian prime minister who was not a member of the country's two main parties -- the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party -- since its independence in 1991.