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President of
the Republic of Croatia
Presidential Flag of the Republic of Croatia.svg
Standard of the President of Croatia
Incumbent
Stjepan Mesić

since February 18, 2000
Term length Five years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Franjo Tuđman
Formation December 22, 1990
Website www.predsjednik.hr
Croatia

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Croatia



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The President of the Republic is Croatia's head of state. Croatia is a parliamentary democracy where the President's main role is leading the armed forces and Croatian diplomacy together with the Government, in addition to a number of procedural duties of this eminent public office. Each president is limited to two terms in office.

Office of the President of Croatia is housed in Presidential Palace (Croatian: Predsjednički dvori) in Zagreb, located in the Pantovčak neighborhood.

Contents

History

The Socialist Republic of Croatia within SFR Yugoslavia was led by a group of communist party functionaries who formed a collective Presidency with the president of the Presidency at its head. The first democratic elections of 1990 did not elect members of the Presidency directly. Rather, the parliament was tasked with filling these positions as it had done in the socialist period. The Croatian Democratic Union won the elections and its leader Franjo Tuđman assumed the presidency of the Presidency on May 30, 1990. On July 25, the parliament passed several constitutional amendments, including amendment LXXI which created the position of President and of Vice-Presidents.[1] The Christmas Constitution passed on December 22, 1990 established the government as a semi-presidential system and called for presidential elections. Due to the war in Croatia, these were delayed until the summer of 1992.

Election and taking office

The President of the Republic is elected in direct elections by secret ballot, on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, for a term of five years. No one can be elected the President of the Republic more than twice. The President of the Republic is elected by a majority of vote of all electors who have voted. If none of the candidates has obtained such a majority, second round is held after 14 days. The two candidates who obtained the largest number of votes in the first round have the right to stand at the new election. Before assuming duty, the President of the Republic shall take oath of office before the judges of the Constitutional Court swearing loyalty to the Constitution. The inauguration ceremonies are traditionally held on St. Mark's Square in Zagreb, in front of the St. Mark's Church and near buildings of Croatian Parliament, Croatian Government and Constitutional Court. After the election, the President of the Republic resigns form membership in the political party.

Powers, duties and responsibilities of the President

The main powers of the president are:

  • represents and stands for the Republic of Croatia at home and abroad
  • takes care of regular and harmonized functioning and stability of the state government
  • responsible for the defense of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia
  • calls elections for the Croatian Parliament and convene their first session
  • call referendum in accordance with the Constitution
  • may have on the proposal of the Government and the Chairman of the Government announce a referendum on proposed changes to the Constitution or any other matters for which holds that it is important for the independence, uniqueness and existence of the Republic of Croatia
  • confide the mandate to form the Government to the person who, upon the distribution of the seats in the Croatian Parliament and consultations held, enjoys confidence of the majority of its members
  • promulgates laws
  • grants pardons and confers decorations and other awards
  • performing other tasks in accordance with the Constitution
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Presidential powers in foreign affairs

The President of the Republic and the Government of the Republic of Croatia cooperate in formulation and execution of the foreign policy. The President of the Republic, at the Government's proposal and with the counter-signature of the Prime Minister, decides on the establishment of diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Croatia abroad. The President of the Republic, with the prior counter-signature of the Prime Minister, appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Croatia, at the proposal the Government and upon the opinion of the authorized committee of the Croatian Parliament. The President of the Republic receives letters of credence and the letters of recall from foreign diplomatic representatives.

The powers in the national security and defense

The President of the Republic is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces of the Republic of Croatia. The President of the Republic appoints and relieves of duty military commanders.

On the basis of the decision of the Croatian Parliament, the President of the Republic may declare war and conclude peace. In case of an immediate threat to the independence, unity and existence of the State, the President of the Republic may, with the counter signature of the Prime Minister, order the employment of the armed forces even if the state of war has not been declared.

During the state of war the President of the Republic may issue decrees with the force of law on the grounds and within the authority obtained from the Croatian Parliament. If the Croatian Parliament is not in session, the President of the Republic is authorized to regulate all the issues required by the state of war by decrees with the force of law. In case of an immediate threat to the independence, unity and existence of the State, or if the governmental bodies are prevented from performing their constitutional duties regularly, the President of the Republic may, at the proposal of the Prime Minister and with his counter-signature, issue decrees with the force of law. The President of the Republic must submit decrees with the force of law for approval to the Croatian Parliament as soon as the Parliament is in a position to convene. If the President of the Republic does not submit a decree for approval to the Croatian Parliament or if the Croatian Parliament fails to approve it, the decree with the force of law ceases to be in force.

Dissolution of Parliament

The President of the Republic, at the proposal of the Government and with the counter-signature of the Prime Minister, after consultations with the representatives of the clubs of parliamentary parties, may dissolve the Croatian Parliament if, at the proposal of the Government, the Parliament has passed a vote of no confidence to the Government, or if it has failed to approve the state budget within 120 days from the date when it was proposed. The President of the Republic may not, at the proposal of the Government, dissolve the Croatian Parliament if the impeachment proceedings against him for violation of the Constitution have been instituted.

Immunity and responsibility

The President of the Republic enjoys immunity. The President of the Republic may not be detained nor criminal proceedings may be instituted against him without prior consent of the Constitutional Court. The President of the Republic may be detained without prior consent of the Constitutional Court only if he has been caught in the act of committing a criminal offense which carries a penalty of imprisonment of more than five years. In such a case the state body which has detained the President of the Republic must instantly notify the President of the Constitutional Court thereof.

The President of the Republic is impeachable for any violation of the Constitution he has committed in the performance of his duties. Proceedings for the impeachment of the President of the Republic may be instituted by the Croatian Parliament by a two-thirds majority vote of all representatives. The impeachment of the President of the Republic is decided by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia by a two-thirds majority vote of all the judges. If the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia sustains the impeachment, the duty of the President of the Republic ceases by force of the Constitution.

Temporally inability and termination of mandate

In case when the President of the Republic is temporarily prevented from performing his duties, because of his absence or illness or yearly leave of absence, the President of the Republic may confide the President of the Croatian Parliament to substitute for him. The President of the Republic decides upon his return to duty.

In case the President of the Republic is prevented from performing his duties for a longer period of time, because of illness or inability, and particularly if he is unable to decide on confiding his duties to a temporary substitute, the President of the Croatian Parliament shall assume the duty of the acting President of the Republic upon the decision of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court shall decide thereof upon the proposal of the Government.

In case of death, or resignation which must be submitted to the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia and the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament notified thereof, or when the Constitutional Court determines the reasons for termination of the mandate of the President of the Republic, the duty of the acting President of the Republic shall be taken over by the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament by force of the Constitution. When the acting President of the Republic issues an act on promulgation of the law, the act shall be counter-signed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia. Elections for the new President of the Republic must be held within the term of 60 days from the day the acting President of the Republic has taken over the duty.

See also

References

External links


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