The Republic of Croatia is a parliamentary democracy, like most countries in Western and Central Europe. After its Constitution was amended in November 2000, the semi-presidential system was transformed into a pure parliamentary system.
The Government, headed by the Prime Minister, is politically responsible only to the Croatian Parliament (Sabor), which is comprised of the House of Representatives (Zastupnicki dom). Members of the House of Representatives serve four-year terms.
The President of the Republic is the Head of State, directly elected for a term of five years. The President is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and represents the Republic of Croatia.
The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia was adopted on 22 December 1990, after the first multiparty parliamentary elections held in the spring of 1990, laying down fundaments for an independent and democratic state. It was amended in November 1997, November 2000, March 2001 and June 2010. One of the major novelties brought by the revision of the Constitution in November 2000 was the abolishment of the semipresidential constitutional system to the advantage of a parliamentary system with a stronger role of the Prime Minister and the Government.
The Constitution defines Croatia as a sovereign, unitary, democratic and social state. The power derives from the people and belongs to the people as a community of free and equal citizens. The highest values of the constitutional order are: freedom, equal rights, national equality, peace, social justice, respect for human rights, inviolability of ownership, conservation of nature and the human environment, the rule of law and a democratic multi-party system.
All democratic freedoms as well as citizens', human and minority rights are explicitly enumerated and guaranteed by the Constitution. National minorities' rights and freedoms are regulated in the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities (December 2002). The right to establishing societies, organisations and institutions of civil society and branches of international organisations is also guaranteed by the Constitution.
Government in the Republic of Croatia is organised on the principle of the separation of powers into three branches: legislative (the Parliament), executive (the President of the Republic, the Government) and judicial.