Croatian Peasant Party
Published 24th November, 2011
The Croatian Peasant Party or HSS was founded in 1904 as the Croatian People’s Peasant Party. The party describes itself as a centre party and believes in Christian democracy, agrarianism, social conservatism and pro-Europeanism.
In early elections in the 1900s the party had modest successes and became a Croat nationalism standard bearer during the inter war period.
Revived in 1989 the party stood in the first multi-party elections as the communist state was in tatters. They did not win any seats in that election but in 1992 they took three seats and 4.25% of the vote.
In 1995 they were part of a broad coalition called the Joint List (ZL) that won 18 seats, ten of which were accredited to the HSS.
In 2000 the party was once more part of the ZL bloc and this time won 17 seats and 11.26% of the vote. They went on to join the SDP coalition government of Ivica Račan.
In 2003 their fortunes changed again when they stood alone and managed to win 10 seats out of 151 seats in the Hrvatski Sabor and 6.62% of the vote.
2007 saw them back in a coalition with two other parties but the results were not encouraging and they took only eight seats, although after the election they joined Ivo Sanader’s government and held two ministerial posts.
The Croatian Peasant Party is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP).