Prime Minister of Croatia

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President of the Government of Croatia
Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske
Coat of arms of Croatia.svg
16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Zoran Milanovic 38.jpg
Zoran Milanović

since 23 December 2011
Style His Excellency[1]
Appointer President of the Republic
Inaugural holder Stjepan Mesić
Formation 30 May 1990
Coat of arms
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The Prime Minister of Croatia, officially the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske), is Croatia's head of government, and is the de facto most powerful and influential state officeholder in the Croatian system of government. Following the first-time establishment of the office in 1945, the 1990-2001 semi-presidential period is the only exception where the President of Croatia held de facto authority. In the formal Croatian order of precedence, however, the position of prime minister is the third highest state office, after the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the 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.[2] Since 2000, the prime minister has had various added constitutional powers and is mentioned before the Government itself in the text of the Constitution, in Articles 87, 97, 99, 100, 101, 103, 104.[2] The current Prime Minister of Croatia is Zoran Milanović. The Government of Croatia meets in Banski dvori, a historical building located on the west side of St. Mark's Square in Zagreb.


The official name of the office, literally translated, is "President of the Government" (Predsjednik Vlade), rather than "Prime Minister" (Prvi Ministar). When the office was first established in 1945, the name "President of the Government" was introduced. 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). After another round of constitutional reforms in 1990, the office was renamed back to its original 1945-1953 title of "President of the Government". For all periods, however, the term "Prime Minister" is colloquially used (especially in the media) in English-language usage.


The first Prime Minister of Croatia was Vladimir Bakarić, who assumed the position on 14 April 1945. The position was then, as it is today, the most powerful public office in the state (the only exception in that regard is the 1990-2000 semi-presidential period, during which the President was the most significant figure). In post-World War II Croatia, which was at the time a constituent republic of 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). The office remained the central post of Croatian politics in spite of the institution of a collective Presidency in 1974 (previously the mostly-nominal function of the head of state belonged to the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, the Sabor).

After the constitutional amendments that allowed for multi-party elections in Croatia, the Parliament enacted amendments to the constitution (25 July) which eliminated socialist references and adopted new national symbols. The newly elected tricameral Parliament proceeded to change the Constitution of Croatia, and on 22 December 1990, this so-called "Christmas Constitution" fundamentally 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. During this period, lasting until 2000/2001, Croatia had nine prime ministers. The first Prime Minister of Croatia since the 1990 constitutional reforms was Stjepan Mesić, assuming office on 30 May 1990.[3][4]

Croatia proclaimed independence from 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 Franjo Gregurić was appointed to lead a Government of National Unity. In October the same year, Croatia formally declared independence, with Gregurić continuing on as the first prime minister of Croatia after the secession from Yugoslavia.

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 Croatia into a parliamentary republic. The Prime Minister again (as before 1990) became the foremost post in Croatian politics.


      League of Communists of Yugoslavia       League of Communists of Croatia       Croatian Democratic Union       Social Democratic Party of Croatia

No. Name
Portrait Term of Office Political party Election Cabinet Cabinet parties
Took Office Left Office Duration
N/A Pavle Gregorić[citation needed]
Pavle Gregorić.jpg 7 March 1945 14 April 1945 39 days Communist Party of Yugoslavia Gregorić KSH
1 Vladimir Bakarić
Vladimir Bakarić (1).jpg 14 April 1945 18 December 1953 8 years, 7 months, 18 days Communist Party of Yugoslavia
(party renamed in 1952)
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(party renamed in 1952)
1st Executive Council
President of the Government of the People's Republic of Croatia from 1945 to 1953. On 6 February 1953 he was elected to the new position of President of the Executive Council. Simultaneously held these positions along with the post of Secretary of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia. Subsequently became President of the Parliament of the People's Republic of Croatia (1953–1963).
2 Jakov Blažević
Jakov Blažević.jpg 18 December 1953 10 July 1962 8 years, 7 months League of Communists of Yugoslavia 2nd Executive Council
3rd Executive Council
Resigned as President of the Executive Council to take the post of president of the Chamber of Commerce of Yugoslavia.[5] He was replaced by Zvonko Brkić for the remainder of the term of the 3rd Executive Council.
3 Zvonko Brkić
No image.png 10 July 1962 June 1963 11 months League of Communists of Yugoslavia 3rd Executive Council SKH
Member of the Executive Council from 1953 to 1963. After Jakov Blažević's resignation as President of the Executive Council he served the remainder of his term. He subsequently became Vice President of the Federal Assembly (1963–1967).
4 Mika Špiljak
Mika Špiljak.jpg June 1963 11 May 1967 3 years, 11 months League of Communists of Yugoslavia 4th Executive Council SKH
Became President of the Federal Executive Council on 16 May 1967.
5 Savka Dabčević-Kučar
Savka Dabcevic Kucar.jpg 11 May 1967 8 May 1969 2 years League of Communists of Yugoslavia 5th Executive Council SKH
After her term expired she was immediately appointed Secretary of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Croatia (1969–1971).
6 Dragutin Haramija
No image.png May 1969 28 December 1971 2 years, 7 months League of Communists of Yugoslavia 6th Executive Council SKH
Denounced at the XXI. Meeting of the Presidency of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia held in Karađorđevo on 1 and 2 December 1971 and forced to resign. Subsequently withdrew from politics.
7 Ivo Perišin
80px 28 December 1971 8 May 1974[6] 2 years, 4 months League of Communists of Yugoslavia 7th Executive Council SKH
Subsequently served as President of the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1974–1978).
8 Jakov Sirotković
No image.png 8 May 1974 9 May 1978 4 years, 1 month League of Communists of Yugoslavia 8th Executive Council SKH
9 Petar Fleković
No image.png 9 May 1978 May 1982 4 years League of Communists of Yugoslavia 9th Executive Council SKH
Subsequently named director of INA (1982–1990).
10 Ante Marković
No image.png May 1982 10 May 1986 4 years League of Communists of Yugoslavia 10th Executive Council SKH
Elected by Parliament as President of the Presidency of SR Croatia on 10 May 1986.
11 Antun Milović
No image.png 10 May 1986 30 May 1990 4 years, 21 days League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(until January 1990)
League of Communists of Croatia
(from January 1990)
11th Executive Council SKH
Following the 1990 parliamentary election and constitutional reforms
Stjepan Mesić
Mesic crop.jpg 30 May 1990 24 August 1990 86 days Croatian Democratic Union 1990 Mesić HDZ
Josip Manolić
Josip Manolic crop1.jpg 24 August 1990 17 July 1991 327 days Croatian Democratic Union Manolić HDZ
Franjo Gregurić
No image.png 17 July 1991 12 August 1992 1 year, 26 days National unity government Gregurić HDZ,SDP,SDSH,
Hrvoje Šarinić
No image.png 12 August 1992 3 April 1993 1 year, 234 days Croatian Democratic Union 1992 Šarinić HDZ
Nikica Valentić
Nikica Valentic table crop.jpg 3 April 1993 7 November 1995 2 years, 218 days Croatian Democratic Union Valentić HDZ
Zlatko Mateša
No image.png 7 November 1995 27 January 2000 4 years, 81 days Croatian Democratic Union 1995 Mateša HDZ
Ivica Račan
80px 27 January 2000 30 July 2002 3 years, 330 days Social Democratic Party 2000[7] Račan I SDP,HSLS,HNS,
30 July 2002 23 December 2003 Račan II SDP,HNS,HSS,
Ivo Sanader
Ivo Sanader table crop.jpg 23 December 2003 12 January 2008 5 years, 195 days Croatian Democratic Union 2003 Sanader I HDZ
12 January 2008 6 July 2009 2007 Sanader II HDZ,HSLS,HSS,
Jadranka Kosor
Jadranka Kosor Prime Minister.jpg 6 July 2009 23 December 2011 2 years, 170 days Croatian Democratic Union Kosor HDZ,HSLS,HSS,
Zoran Milanović
16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Zoran Milanovic 38.jpg 23 December 2011 Incumbent 8 years, 337 days Social Democratic Party 2011 Milanović SDP,HNS-LD,


# Prime Minister Date of birth Age at ascension
(first term)
Time in office
Age at retirement
(last term)
Date of death Longevity
1 Mesić, StjepanStjepan Mesić 19341224December 24, 1934(December 24, 1934) 55 15755 years, 157 days 00 0860 years, 86 days 55 24355 years, 243 days Living 31,38285 years, 336 days (Living)
2 Manolić, JosipJosip Manolić 19200322March 22, 1920(March 22, 1920) 70 15570 years, 155 days 00 3270 years, 327 days 71 11771 years, 117 days Living 36,772100 years, 247 days (Living)
3 Gregurić, FranjoFranjo Gregurić 19391012October 12, 1939(October 12, 1939) 51 27851 years, 278 days 01 0261 year, 26 days 52 30552 years, 305 days Living 29,62981 years, 43 days (Living)
4 Szarinić, HrvojeHrvoje Šarinić 19350217February 17, 1935(February 17, 1935) 57 17757 years, 177 days 00 2340 years, 234 days 58 04558 years, 45 days Living 31,32785 years, 281 days (Living)
5 Valentić, NikicaNikica Valentić 19501124November 24, 1950(November 24, 1950) 42 13042 years, 130 days 02 2182 years, 218 days 44 34844 years, 348 days Living 25,56870 years, 0 days (Living)
6 Matesza, ZlatkoZlatko Mateša 19490617June 17, 1949(June 17, 1949) 46 14346 years, 143 days 04 0814 years, 81 days 50 22450 years, 224 days Living 26,09371 years, 160 days (Living)
7 Raczan, IvicaIvica Račan 19440224February 24, 1944(February 24, 1944) 55 33755 years, 337 days 03 3303 years, 330 days 59 30259 years, 302 days 20070429April 29, 2007 23,07563 years, 64 days
8 Sanader, IvoIvo Sanader 19530608June 8, 1953(June 8, 1953) 50 19850 years, 198 days 05 1955 years, 195 days 56 02856 years, 28 days Living 24,64167 years, 169 days (Living)
9 Kosor, JadrankaJadranka Kosor 19530701July 1, 1953(July 1, 1953) 56 00556 years, 5 days 02 1702 years, 170 days 58 17558 years, 175 days Living 24,61867 years, 146 days (Living)
10 Milanović, ZoranZoran Milanović 19661030October 30, 1966(October 30, 1966) 45 05445 years, 54 days 02 271 3378 years, 337 days (Ongoing) Incumbent Living 19,74954 years, 25 days (Living)

See also


  1. [1], Protocol and Liaison Service, United Nations.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text)". Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 2011-02-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Chronology of Croatian governments" (in Croatian). Croatian Information-Documentation Referral Agency. Retrieved 2011-05-13.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Prethodne Vlade RH" (in Croatian). Croatian Government. Retrieved 2010-12-13. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Bukvić, Nenad (2012). "Izvršno vijeće Sabora Narodne Republike Hrvatske : ustroj i djelovanje (1953–1963)". Arhivski vjesnik (in Croatian). 55: 9–46.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Bukvić, Nenad (2013). "Izvršno vijeće Sabora Socijalističke Republike Hrvatske: ustroj i djelovanje (1963–1974)". Arhivski vjesnik (in Croatian). 56: 50.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. After the changes to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia the country moved from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system, making the Prime Minister the most powerful office in the country.