The elections were held in compliance with the procedure stipulated in the Statute of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The members of the Council chose three candidates by secret ballot, and then the Patriarch was elected by lot.
Bishop Irinej of Niš (secular name Miroslav Gavrilović), now the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was born on 28 October 1930 in the city of Čačak. He received theological education at the Prizren theological seminary, at the theological department of Belgrade University, and at the post-graduate courses of the theological department of the University of Athens. His education having been completed, he became the head of a monastic school at the Ostrog monastery, and later was appointed rector of the Prizren theological seminary.
He was tonsured by His Holiness Patriarch Herman of Serbia at the Racovica monastery in 1959 and ordained hierodeacon the same year. On 14 July 1974 he was elected Bishop of Moravicí, a vicar of His Holiness Patriarch of Serbia. Bishop of Niš from 1975.
He paid his last visit to Russia in January 2008.