- Prime Minister of Croatia
President of the Government of Croatia
Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske
Coat of Arms of Croatia
Appointer President of the Republic Inaugural holder Stjepan Mesić Formation 30 May 1990 Website www.vlada.hr Croatia
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Politics and government of
The Prime Minister of Croatia, officially "President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia" (Croatian: Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske), is Croatia's head of government. In the formal Croatian order of precedence used in ceremonial matters, the position of prime minister is the third most important Croatian state office, behind the President of the Republic and the President of Parliament. The Constitution of Croatia prescribes that the Parliament "supervises" the Government (Article 81) and that the President of the Republic "ensures the regular and balanced functioning and stability of government" (as a whole; Article 94), while the Government is introduced in Article 108.
The prime minister is today the most powerful and the most important person in the Croatian system of government. Since 2000, the prime minister has had various added constitutional powers and happens to be mentioned earlier than the Government itself in the text of the Constitution, in Articles 87, 97, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104. The current Prime Minister of Croatia is Jadranka Kosor, who took office following the resignation of the former prime minister Ivo Sanader in July of 2009. The Government of Croatia meets in Banski dvori, a historical building located on the west side of St. Mark's Square in Zagreb.
The first head of government and Prime Minister of Croatia (then the People's Republic of Croatia by full name) was Vladimir Bakarić (Predsjednik Vlade), who assumed the position on 14 April 1945. The position was then, as it is today, the most powerful public office in the state (which was then part of the Yugoslav federation). The name of the office was changed 8 years later with the Yugoslav constitutional reforms of 1953, into "President of the Executive Council" (Predsjednik Izvršnog Vijeća), and remained the central office of Croatian politics in spite of the institution of a collective Presidency (previously the mostly-nominal function of the head of state belonged to the speaker of the Croatian parliament, the Sabor). After another round of constitutional reforms in 1990, the office was was renamed back to its original 1945-1953 title of "Prime Minister" (Predsjednik Vlade). Since then, Croatia has had nine holders of the title, eight of them nominated by the Croatian Democratic Union. The first Prime Minister of Croatia since the 1990 constitutional reforms was Stjepan Mesić, assuming office on 30 May 1990. Franjo Gregurić was the first prime minister of Croatia after the secession from Yugoslavia.
In the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which was at the time a federal republic in Yugoslavia, a single-party system was in place. During this time there were twelve heads of government, all from the ranks of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), which was reformed and renamed into the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ) in 1952. The federal party was organized into six sub-organizations - the republic parties, one for each of the six federal republics. Croatian politicians and prime ministers of the period were members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia through their membership in the League of Communists of Croatia (SKH), the Croatian part of the federal party (as was respectively the case with all Yugoslav politicians).
No. Head of Government Lifespan Term of office Party Notes Minister for Croatia
N/A Pavle Gregorić 1892–1989 7 March
Communist Party of Yugoslavia De facto prime minister. Temporary representative for Croatia in the Yugoslav federal government. Prime Minister
1945 - 1953
12 Vladimir Bakarić 1912–1983 14 April
Communist Party of Yugoslavia
(party renamed in 1952)
The first Croatian Head of Government. League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(party renamed in 1952)
Presidents of the Executive Council
1953 - 1990
1 Vladimir Bakarić 1912–1983 6 February
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 2 Jakov Blažević 1912–1996 December
League of Communists of Yugoslavia Longest term as Croatian head of government. 3 Zvonko Brkić 1912–1977 July
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 4 Mika Špiljak 1916–2007 June
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 5 Savka Dabčević-Kučar 1923–2009 May
League of Communists of Yugoslavia Led the MASPOK movement during the Croatian Spring 6 Dragutin Haramija 1923– May
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 7 Ivo Perišin 1925–2008 December
League of Communists of Yugoslavia Also at one time held the positions of Speaker of the Sabor of Croatia (Head of State), and Mayor of Split. 8 Jakov Sirotković 1922–2002 April
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 9 Petar Fleković 9 May
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 10 Ante Marković 1924– July
League of Communists of Yugoslavia Also at one time President of the Presidency of Croatia, and last Prime Minister of Yugoslavia. Led successful economic liberalization reforms that were terminated by the coming conflict. 11 Ema Derossi-Bjelajac 1926– 20 November
League of Communists of Yugoslavia 12 Antun Milović 1934–2008 10 May
League of Communists of Yugoslavia (until January 1990) The pan-Yugoslav League of Communists of Yugoslavia (SKJ) splintered in January 1990 into its republic member-parties, in Croatia the League of Communists of Croatia (soon to be reformed into the Social Democratic Party) seceded from the central party and instituted democratic elections. League of Communists of Croatia
(from January 1990)
Transition from Yugoslavia
After the democratic changes that allowed multi-party elections in SFR Yugoslavia, the Croatian parliamentary election, 1990 was held, and for the first time since World War II a government was elected not from the ranks of the League of Communists of Croatia. Stjepan Mesić led the first such government, and despite the fact the country was still under a socialist constitution as well as part of Yugoslavia, this government is widely attributed to have been the "first" government of modern-day Croatia.
The newly elected Parliament proceeded to change the Constitution of Croatia, and on 22 December 1990, this so-called "Christmas Constitution" defined the Republic of Croatia and its governmental structure.
Since the 1990 constitution Croatia was a semi-presidential republic, which meant the President of Croatia had broad executive powers, including naming the Prime Minister and dissolving the government.
No. Head of Government Lifespan Term of office
Party Notes Prime Ministers
1990 onwards, within Yugoslavia
Stjepan Mesić 1934– 30 May
Croatian Democratic Union First official to hold the title "Prime Minister of Croatia" since 1953. Also at a later date held the office of President of Croatia, and served as the last President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia. 1990 2
Josip Manolić 1920– 24 August
Croatian Democratic Union — 3
Franjo Gregurić 1939– 17 July
Croatian Democratic Union First Croatian prime minister during and after its secession from Yugoslavia. Led the joint "Government of National Unity", instituted due to the escalating conflict. —
Croatia proclaimed independence from SFR Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991 following the May 1991 independence referendum. However, the country then signed the July 1991 Brijuni Agreement in which it agreed to postpone the formal declaration of independence for three months. Meanwhile, the Croatian War of Independence ensued, and the Gregurić cabinet was modeled as a Government of National Unity. In October the same year, Croatia formally declared independence. It was internationally recognized by January 1992 and admitted to the United Nations in May that year.
Until 2000 the country employed a semi-presidential system. Following the January 2000 general election the winning centre-left coalition led by the Social Democratic Party amended the Constitution and effectively stripped the President of most of his executive powers, strengthening the role of the Parliament and the Prime Minister, turning it into a parliamentary republic.
No. Head of Government Lifespan Term of office
Party Notes Prime Ministers
since independence (June 25 / October 8, 1991)
Hrvoje Šarinić 1935– 12 August
Croatian Democratic Union 1992 5
Nikica Valentić 1950– 3 April
Croatian Democratic Union — 6
Zlatko Mateša 1949– 7 November
Croatian Democratic Union 1995 7
Ivica Račan 1944–2007 27 January
Social Democratic Party First prime minister with expanded powers after the implementation of the parliamentary system in 2000, which restored the head-of-government as the most powerful political office in the country. 2000 8
Ivo Sanader 1953– 23 December
Croatian Democratic Union Longest term as prime minister since 1962. Resigned, granting support to Jadranka Kosor as his successor. Returned to politics in October 2010, was indicted on charges of corruption, subsequently arrested in Austria, and is currently awaiting trial in Remetinec prison. 2003, 2007 9
Jadranka Kosor 1953– 6 July
Incumbent Croatian Democratic Union Assumed office upon the resignation of Ivo Sanader, recommended for the office by the latter. —
- List of Croatian Governments
- Politics of Croatia
- President of Croatia
- List of Presidents of Croatia
- List of heads of state of Yugoslavia
- Prime Minister of Yugoslavia
- ^ a b "The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text)". Croatian Parliament. http://www.sabor.hr/Default.aspx?sec=729. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
- ^ "Chronology of Croatian governments" (in Croatian). Croatian Information-Documentation Referral Agency. http://www.hidra.hr/cro/hr_vodic/kronologija_vlade. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- ^ "Prethodne Vlade RH [Former Governments of the Republic of Croatia]" (in Croatian). Croatian Government. http://www.vlada.hr/hr/naslovnica/o_vladi_rh/prethodne_vlade_rh. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
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