Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats
Published 24th November, 2011
The Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats or HNS was founded in 1990 by members of the Coalition of People’s Accord (KNS), although it traces its roots back to 1835 and the People’s Party in Croatia. The party describes itself as centre-left and believes in liberalism and social liberalism.
The KNS won three seats with 15.3% of the vote in the first multi-party elections in 1990. In 1992 the new HNS won 6.7% of the vote and six seats in the new parliament or Hrvatski Sabor. In 1995 that dropped back to two seats in a five party alliance called the Joint List (ZL).
As part of the Joint List (ZL) in 2000 the HNS won two of the 25 bloc seats and the party went on to be part of the Ivica Račan government. The party enjoyed even bigger success when the coalition’s presidential candidate Stjepan Mesić, a Croatian People’s Party member, won the election with 56% of the vote in a second round runoff.
In 2003 an enlarged alliance won 8% of the vote and 11 of the 151 seats; the HNS took ten of these seats.
By 2005 the party was in talks with the Party of Liberal Democrats or Libra and on 6th February the merger was completed bringing the parliamentary tally to 13 seats. That same year Stjepan Mesić won his second term as president with 65.93% of the vote.
The 2007 election was not a great success with the party falling back to seven seats and 4.6% of the vote.
The Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats is an observer member of Liberal International and a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.