The President of the Republic has both a representative and an executive function. The president represents and acts on behalf of the Republic of Croatia at home and abroad. He is responsible for the defence of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia, as well as for the stable, normal and co-ordinated functioning of state authorities.
The President is elected on the basis of direct universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot for a term of five years. No one can serve more than two terms as President of the Republic.
The President of the Republic calls elections for the Parliament, calls referenda, gives the mandate to form the Government to the person who enjoys the confidence of the majority of the members of Parliament, grants pardons, confers decorations and other awards, and performs other duties specified by the Constitution. In co-operation with the Government, the President also takes part in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy, decides on the establishment of diplomatic missions and the appointment and recalling of the heads of diplomatic missions of the Republic of Croatia abroad, gives credentials and receives credentials from the heads of foreign diplomatic missions.
The President is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, appoints and relieves of duty military commanders, declares war and piece on the basis of the decision of the Croatian Parliament, in accordance with the law. During a state of war the President may issue Regulations which have the force of law. The President of the Republic and the Government collaborate in giving direction to the security services. The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister co-sign the decisions on appointments of the heads of the security services, after obtaining the opinion of the competent Parliament Committee. Under precisely defined circumstances, the President may dissolve the Parliament if the Government does not pass a vote of confidence, or if the State Budget is not adopted within three months from the date it was proposed.
The President of the Republic is Ivo Josipović, elected on January 10, 2010.
The first President, Franjo Tuđman, died on December 10, 1999. He served from 1990.
The second President was Stjepan Mesić, who served two consecutive terms (2000-2010).
The Government of the Republic of Croatia exercises executive powers in conformity with the Constitution and the law. Its competencies, internal organisation and procedures are defined by the Act on the Government and by the Rules of Procedure.
The Government proposes legislation and other legal acts to the Parliament, proposes the state budget and annual accounts, implements laws and other decisions of the Parliament. Within the scope of its powers, the Government also passes Regulations to implement laws, it appoints and relieves of duty appointed officials in the state administration. The Government conducts the foreign and domestic policies, adopts strategies of economic and social development, directs and supervises the work of the state administration and performs other duties according to the Constitution and the law.
The Government is elected by and is responsible to the Parliament. The Prime Minister and members of the Government are jointly responsible for decisions passed by the Government and individually responsible for their respective portfolios. There are also Government offices and agencies headed by officials, who also may take part (without the right to vote) at the Government sessions, regularly held once a week. The Heads of the Legislation Office and the Public Relations Office take part at every Government session.
The Prime Minister is Zoran Milanović.
Former Prime Ministers are: