Prime Minister of Croatia

President of the Government of Croatia
Predsjednik Vlade Hrvatske
Andrej Plenković

since 19 October 2016
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 (Croatian: Premijer Hrvatske), 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 Andrej Plenković. 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.

To date there have been eleven Prime Ministers who have chaired 13 governments since the first multi-party elections. Eight Prime Ministers were members of the Croatian Democratic Union during their terms of office, two were members of the Social Democratic Party and one was not a member of any political party. Since independence there has been one female Prime Minister (Jadranka Kosor), while Savka Dabčević-Kučar was the first woman to hold an office equivalent to a head of government as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1967-1969).

List of officeholders (1945–present)

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

Presidents of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1945–1990)

No. Name
Portrait Term of Office Political party Election Cabinet Cabinet parties
Took Office Left Office Duration
N/A Pavle Gregorić
7 March 1945 14 April 1945 39 days Communist Party of Yugoslavia Gregorić KPH
1 Vladimir Bakarić
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
8 May 1974 9 May 1978 4 years, 1 month League of Communists of Yugoslavia 8th Executive Council SKH
9 Petar Fleković
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
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
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

Prime Ministers of the Republic of Croatia (1990–present)

While Stjepan Mesić formally held the post of President of the Executive Council, not of Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, during his term in office, he is today considered to have been the first Prime Minister of an independent Croatia as the head of the first Croatian government cabinet (in fact the 12th Executive Council of SR Croatia). Likewise Josip Manolić held the title of Prime Minister during his term, though Croatia was still within the Yugoslav federation at the time and did not formally become independent until 8 October 1991, during the term of Franjo Gregurić. Thus, it is as of 2016 considered that there have been 12 Prime Ministers of the Republic of Croatia to date and that the office of Prime Minister is not a direct continuation of the post of President of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which was formally a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and was thus not an independent nation. Therefore, the Presidents of the republic's Executive Council, though formally being heads of government, held a sub-national office similar to modern-day First Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland or Minister-presidents in German states, and were subordinate to the Federal Executive Council in Belgrade.

No. Name
Portrait Term of Office Political party Election Cabinet Cabinet parties Assembly
Took Office
Left Office
Stjepan Mesić
30 May 1990 24 August 1990 86 days Croatian Democratic Union 1990 Mesić HDZ 1st Assembly
Josip Manolić
24 August 1990[a] 17 July 1991 327 days Croatian Democratic Union Manolić HDZ 1st Assembly
Franjo Gregurić
17 July 1991[a] 12 August 1992 392 days Croatian Democratic Union Gregurić HDZ-SDP-SDSH
(National unity government)
1st Assembly
Hrvoje Šarinić
12 August 1992[a]
8 September 1992
3 April 1993 234 days Croatian Democratic Union 1992 Šarinić HDZ 2nd Assembly
Nikica Valentić
29 March 1993
3 April 1993[a]
7 November 1995 948 days Croatian Democratic Union Valentić HDZ 2nd Assembly
Zlatko Mateša
4 November 1995
7 November 1995[a]
27 January 2000 1542 days Croatian Democratic Union 1995 Mateša HDZ 3rd Assembly
Ivica Račan
22 January 2000
27 January 2000[a]
2 February 2000
5 July 2002 (Resigned)
30 July 2002
1426 days Social Democratic Party 2000[7] Račan I SDP-HSLS-HNS
4th Assembly
100/151 MPs
(Račan I)
84/151 MPs (Račan II)
11 June 2002
30 July 2002
23 December 2003 Račan II SDP-HNS-HSS
Ivo Sanader
9 December 2003
23 December 2003
12 January 2008 2022 days Croatian Democratic Union 2003 Sanader I HDZ 5th Assembly
88/151 MPs (Sanader I)

6th Assembly
82/153 MPs (Sanader II)
15 December 2007
12 January 2008
1 July 2009

6 July 2009
2007 Sanader II HDZ-HSLS-HSS
Jadranka Kosor
3 July 2009
6 July 2009
23 December 2011 900 days Croatian Democratic Union Kosor HDZ-HSLS-HSS
6th Assembly
83/153 MPs
Zoran Milanović
14 December 2011
23 December 2011
22 January 2016 1491 days Social Democratic Party 2011 Milanović SDP-HNS
7th Assembly
89/151 MPs
Tihomir Orešković
23 December 2015
22 January 2016
16 June 2016
(No confidence)

19 October 2016
271 days Independent 2015 Orešković Patriotic Coalition-MOST 8th Assembly
83/151 MPs
Andrej Plenković
10 October 2016
19 October 2016
Incumbent 47 days Croatian Democratic Union 2016 Plenković HDZ-MOST 9th Assembly
91/151 MPs


# Prime Minister Date of birth Age at ascension
(first term)
Time in office
Age at retirement
(last term)
Date of death Longevity
1 Stjepan Mesić December 24, 1934 55 years, 157 days 0 years, 86 days 55 years, 243 days Living 81 years, 347 days (Living)
2 Josip Manolić March 22, 1920 70 years, 155 days 0 years, 327 days 71 years, 117 days Living 96 years, 258 days (Living)
3 Franjo Gregurić October 12, 1939 51 years, 278 days 1 year, 26 days 52 years, 305 days Living 77 years, 54 days (Living)
4 Hrvoje Šarinić February 17, 1935 57 years, 177 days 0 years, 234 days 58 years, 45 days Living 81 years, 292 days (Living)
5 Nikica Valentić November 24, 1950 42 years, 130 days 2 years, 218 days 44 years, 348 days Living 66 years, 11 days (Living)
6 Zlatko Mateša June 17, 1949 46 years, 143 days 4 years, 81 days 50 years, 224 days Living 67 years, 171 days (Living)
7 Ivica Račan February 24, 1944 55 years, 337 days 3 years, 330 days 59 years, 302 days April 29, 2007 63 years, 64 days
8 Ivo Sanader June 8, 1953 50 years, 198 days 5 years, 195 days 56 years, 28 days Living 63 years, 180 days (Living)
9 Jadranka Kosor July 1, 1953 56 years, 5 days 2 years, 170 days 58 years, 175 days Living 63 years, 157 days (Living)
10 Zoran Milanović October 30, 1966 45 years, 54 days 4 years, 30 days 49 years, 84 days Living 50 years, 36 days (Living)
11 Tihomir Orešković January 1, 1966 50 years, 21 days 0 years, 271 days 50 years, 292 days Living 50 years, 339 days (Living)
12 Andrej Plenković April 8, 1970 46 years, 195 days 47 days (Ongoing) Incumbent Living 46 years, 241 days (Living)

Spouses of Prime Ministers

Name Relation to Prime Minister
Milka Mesić (née Dudundić) wife of Prime Minister Stjepan Mesić
Marija Eker Manolić wife of Prime Minister Josip Manolić
Jozefina Gregurić (née Abramović) wife of Prime Minister Franjo Gregurić
Erika Šarinić wife of Prime Minister Hrvoje Šarinić
Antonela Valentić wife of Prime Minister Nikica Valentić
Sanja Gregurić-Mateša wife of Prime Minister Zlatko Mateša
Dijana Pleština wife of Prime Minister Ivica Račan
Mirjana Sanader (née Šarić) wife of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
Jadranka Kosor divorced before becoming Prime Minister
Sanja Musić Milanović wife of Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Sanja Dujmović Orešković wife of Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković
Ana Maslać Plenković wife of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Living former Heads of government of Croatia

There are eleven living former Heads of government:

See also


^a From 1990 until the constitutional changes in November 2000 (which replaced a powerful semi-presidential system with an incomplete parliamentary system), the term of the Prime Minister began when he was appointed by the President of the Republic, and not from the point when he received a vote of confidence in Parliament.


  1. , Protocol and Liaison Service, United Nations.
  2. 1 2 "The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (consolidated text)". Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  3. "Chronology of Croatian governments" (in Croatian). Croatian Information-Documentation Referral Agency. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  4. "Prethodne Vlade RH" [Former Governments of the Republic of Croatia] (in Croatian). Croatian Government. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  5. Bukvić, Nenad (2012). "Izvršno vijeće Sabora Narodne Republike Hrvatske : ustroj i djelovanje (1953–1963)". Arhivski vjesnik (in Croatian). 55: 9–46.
  6. Bukvić, Nenad (2013). "Izvršno vijeće Sabora Socijalističke Republike Hrvatske: ustroj i djelovanje (1963–1974)". Arhivski vjesnik (in Croatian). 56: 50.
  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.
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