Prime Minister of Croatia

Last updated
President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia
Predsjednik Vlade Republike Hrvatske
Flag of Croatia.svg
Andrej Plenkovic 2019 (cropped).jpg
Andrej Plenković

since 19 October 2016
Government of Croatia
Office of the Prime Minister
Type Head of Government
Member of
Reports to Croatian Parliament
Seat Trg sv. Marka 2,
Zagreb, Croatia
Nominator President of Croatia
Appointer Croatian Parliament
Term length At the pleasure of the parliamentary majority. Parliamentary elections must be held no later than 60 days after the expiration of a full parliamentary term of 4 years, but an incumbent prime minister shall remain in office in a caretaker capacity until a new government is confirmed in Parliament and sworn in by its speaker.
Constituting instrument Constitution of Croatia
Inaugural holder Stjepan Mesić (de facto, after first multi-party election)
Josip Manolić (de jure, under current Constitution)
Formation30 May 1990 (de facto, after first multi-party election)
22 December 1990 (de jure, under current Constitution)
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister
(position held by one or more members of the government)
Salary21,655 HRK monthly [2]

The prime minister of Croatia (Croatian : Premijer / Premijerka Hrvatske), officially the President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia (Croatian : Predsjednik / Predsjednica Vlade Republike Hrvatske), is Croatia's head of government, and is de facto the most powerful and influential state officeholder in the Croatian system of government. Following the first-time establishment of the office in 1945, the 1990–2000 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 "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. [3] 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. [3] 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". During all periods, however, the term "Prime Minister" is colloquially used (especially in the media) in English-language usage.


The Royal Government of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia (1868–1918) was headed by Ban (Viceroy), who represented the King. The first head of government of Croatia as a constituent republic of Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia 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 historical exception being the extremely powerful semi-presidential system used from 1990 until 2000, during which the president was by far the most significant figure in the government hierarchy). In post-World War II Socialist Republic of Croatia, a single-party system was in place. During this time there were twelve heads of government (using the title President of the Executive Council), 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. From the 1990 constitutional reforms onward Croatia was a semi-presidential republic, which meant the president of Croatia had broad executive powers (further expanded with laws to a point of superpresidentialism), including the appointment and dismissal of the prime minister and other officials in the government. During this period, lasting until constitutional amendments in late 2000, Croatia had seven prime ministers. The first prime minister of Croatia since the 1990 constitutional reforms was Stjepan Mesić, assuming office on 30 May 1990. [4] [5]

Following the May 1991 independence referendum in which 93% of voters approved secession, Croatia formally proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia on 25 June 1991, with Josip Manolić continuing in the role of prime minister as head of government of an independent Croatia. However, the country then signed the July 1991 Brijuni Agreement in which it agreed to postpone further activities towards severing ties with Yugoslavia. 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 severed all remaining legal ties with the Yugoslav Federation.

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 twelve Prime Ministers who have chaired 14 governments since the first multi-party elections. Nine 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 (not only in Croatia, but in Europe) to hold an office equivalent to a head of government as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (1967-1969).

Prime ministers of Croatia

Prime ministers of the Socialist Republic of Croatia within SFR Yugoslavia (19451990)

ElectionTerm of officePartyCabinetGeneral
Term startTerm endDuration
1 Vladimir Bakaric (1).jpg Vladimir Bakarić
14 April 194518 December 19538 years, 248 days KPH
Communist Party of Croatia

(before 1952)
Bakarić Vladimir

Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
League of Communists of Croatia

(since 1952)
1st Executive
2 Jakov Blazevic.jpg Jakov Blažević
18 December 195310 July 19628 years, 204 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
2nd Executive
3rd Executive
3 Unknown-person.gif Zvonko Brkić
10 July 196227 June 1963352 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
4th Executive
4 Mika Spiljak.jpg Mika Špiljak
27 June 196311 May 19673 years, 318 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
5th Executive
5 Savka Dabcevic-Kucar.jpg Savka Dabčević-Kučar
11 May 19678 May 19691 year, 362 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
6th Executive
6 Dragutin Haramija.jpg Dragutin Haramija
8 May 196928 December 19712 years, 234 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
7th Executive

Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
7 Ivo Perisin.jpg Ivo Perišin
28 December 19718 May 19742 years, 131 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
8th Executive

Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
8 Jakov Sitotkovic.jpg Jakov Sirotković  [ sh ]
8 May 19749 May 19784 years, 1 day SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
9th Executive
9 Petar Flekovic.jpg Petar Fleković  [ sr ]
9 May 197810 May 19824 years,

1 day

League of Communists of Croatia
10th Executive
10 Ante Markovic.jpg Ante Marković
10 May 198210 May 19864 years SKH
League of Communists of Croatia
11th Executive
Jure Bilić
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
Josip Vrhovec
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
Mika Špiljak
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
12 Unknown-person.gif Antun Milović  [ hr ]
10 May 198630 May 19904 years, 20 days SKH
League of Communists of Croatia

(before January 1990)
12th Executive

Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg
Social Democratic Party

(since January 1990)
Ivica Račan
Coat of Arms of the Socialist Republic of Croatia.svg

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

Still a part of SFR Yugoslavia until 25 June 1991.

ElectionTerm of officePartyCabinetCompositionPresident
Term startTerm endDuration
1 Stjepan Mesic (2) (cropped).jpg Stjepan Mesić
1990 30 May 1990 24 August 199086 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
14th Executive
(informally Mesić)
HDZ Franjo

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
2 Josip Manolic crop1.jpg Josip Manolić
24 August 1990 25 June 1991 327 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Manolić HDZ
25 June 199117 July 1991
3 Unknown-person.gif Franjo Gregurić
17 July 1991 12 August 19921 year, 26 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Gregurić HDZ   SDP   HSLS   HNS   HKDS   HDS   SDSH   SSH
4 Hrvoje Sarinic.jpg Hrvoje Šarinić
1992 12 August 1992 3 April 1993234 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Šarinić HDZ
5 Nikica Valentic table crop.jpg Nikica Valentić
3 April 1993 7 November 19952 years, 218 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Valentić From 3 April 1993 to 31 December 1994:
From 31 December 1994 to 7 November 1995:
6 Zlatko Matesa.jpg Zlatko Mateša
1995 7 November 199527 January 20004 years, 81 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Mateša HDZ

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
7 Ivica Racan small.jpg Ivica Račan
2000 27 January 2000 23 December 20033 years, 330 days SDP
Social Democratic Party
Račan I SDP   HSLS   HNS   HSS   IDS   LS
Račan II SDP   HSS   HNS   Libra   LS
8 Sanader cropped.jpg Ivo Sanader
2003 23 December 20036 July 20095 years, 195 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Sanader I HDZ   DC
2007 Sanader II HDZ   HSLS   HSS   SDSS
9 Jadranka Kosor Prime Minister.jpg Jadranka Kosor
6 July 200923 December 20112 years, 170 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
10 16 obljetnica vojnoredarstvene operacije Oluja 04082011 Zoran Milanovic 38.jpg Zoran Milanović
2011 23 December 201122 January 20164 years, 30 days SDP
Social Democratic Party
Milanović SDP   HNS   IDS

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
11 TihomirOreskovic.jpg Tihomir Orešković
2015 22 January 201619 October 2016271 days Independent Orešković HDZ   MOST
12 Andrej Plenkovic 2017.jpg Andrej Plenković
2016 19 October 2016Incumbent4 years, 169 days HDZ
Croatian Democratic Union
Plenković I From 19 October 2016 to 28 April 2017:
From 28 April to 9 June 2017:
From 9 June 2017 to 23 July 2020:

Flag of the President of Croatia.svg
2020 Plenković II HDZ   SDSS

See also


  Denotes pre-independence Prime Ministers
1. ^ From 1990 until the constitutional changes enacted in 2000, which replaced a powerful semi-presidential system (de facto a superpresidential system) with an incomplete parliamentary system, the term of the Prime Minister legally began on the date on which he was appointed by the President of the Republic and not on the date when he received a vote of confidence in Parliament, as is the case since 2000.
2. ^ Until 12 October 2010.


#Prime MinisterAge at ascension
(first term)
Time in office
Age at retirement
(last term)
Length of retirementLifespan
1 Stjepan Mesić 55 years, 157 days86 days55 years, 243 days30 years, 225 days (Living)86 years, 103 days (Living)
2 Josip Manolić 70 years, 155 days327 days71 years, 117 days29 years, 263 days (Living)101 years, 15 days (Living)
3 Franjo Gregurić 51 years, 278 days1 year, 26 days52 years, 305 days28 years, 237 days (Living)81 years, 176 days (Living)
4 Hrvoje Šarinić 57 years, 177 days234 days58 years, 45 days24 years, 109 days82 years, 154 days
5 Nikica Valentić 42 years, 130 days2 years, 218 days44 years, 348 days25 years, 150 days (Living)70 years, 133 days (Living)
6 Zlatko Mateša 46 years, 143 days4 years, 81 days50 years, 224 days21 years, 69 days (Living)71 years, 293 days (Living)
7 Ivica Račan 55 years, 337 days3 years, 330 days59 years, 302 days3 years, 127 days63 years, 64 days
8 Ivo Sanader 50 years, 198 days5 years, 195 days56 years, 28 days11 years, 274 days (Living)67 years, 302 days (Living)
9 Jadranka Kosor 56 years, 5 days2 years, 170 days58 years, 175 days9 years, 104 days (Living)67 years, 279 days (Living)
10 Zoran Milanović 45 years, 54 days4 years, 30 days49 years, 84 days5 years, 74 days (Living)54 years, 158 days (Living)
11 Tihomir Orešković 50 years, 21 days271 days50 years, 292 days4 years, 169 days (Living)55 years, 95 days (Living)
12 Andrej Plenković 46 years, 194 daysIncumbentServing50 years, 363 days (Living)

Spouses of prime ministers

NameRelation to Prime Minister
Milka Mesić (née Dudunić)wife of Prime Minister Stjepan Mesić
Marija Eker Manolićwife of Prime Minister Josip Manolić
Jozefina Gregurić (née Abramović)wife of Prime Minister Franjo Gregurić
Erika Šarinićwife of Prime Minister Hrvoje Šarinić
Antonela Valentićwife of Prime Minister Nikica Valentić
Sanja Gregurić-Matešawife of Prime Minister Zlatko Mateša
Dijana Pleštinawife of Prime Minister Ivica Račan
Mirjana Sanader (née Šarić)wife of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader
Jadranka Kosor divorced before becoming prime minister
Sanja Musić Milanovićwife of Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Sanja Dujmović Oreškovićwife 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 (2 former presidents of the Executive Council of SR Croatia and 8 former prime ministers of Croatia). The last former head of government to die was Hrvoje Šarinić (1992–1993) on 21 July 2017.

Presidents of the Executive Council of the Socialist Republic of Croatia (until 1990):

Prime ministers of the Republic of Croatia (1990–present):

Facts and records of Croatian prime ministers (since 30 May 1990)

Age at appointment

Age at retirement

Oldest and youngest living prime ministers

Longest and shortest lived prime ministers

Longest and shortest retirements

Age difference between incoming and outgoing officeholders

Length of service

Terms of office and number of cabinets

Size of cabinet

Number of political parties in cabinet

Female prime ministers

Other national and international offices held after retirement

Foreign-born prime ministers

Prime ministers born in predecessor states of modern Croatia (before 1991)

Period lived before Croatian independence was declared (25 June 1991)

Service under the most heads of state

See also

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