List of heads of state of Yugoslavia

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This article lists the heads of state of Yugoslavia from the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) in 1918 until the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was a monarchy ruled by the House of Karađorđević from 1918 up until World War II. The SFR Yugoslavia was headed first by Ivan Ribar, the President of the Presidium of the People's Assembly (president of the parliament), and then by President Josip Broz Tito until his death in 1980, when the collective federal presidium rotated the presidency among the republic representatives. However, until 1990 the position of President of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia was usually the most powerful position (the position often coincided with the position of President). With the reforms in 1990, individual republics elected their own heads of state, but the country's head of state continued to rotate among appointed representatives of the republics until the country's dissolution.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia[edit]

King of Yugoslavia
Royal Standard of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (variant), 1920s to 1937.svg
Peter II Karadordevic.jpg
Details
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchPeter I
Last monarchPeter II
Formation1 December 1918
Abolition29 November 1945
ResidenceRoyal Compound, Belgrade
AppointerHereditary
Pretender(s)Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia

The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was created by the unification of the Kingdom of Serbia (the Kingdom of Montenegro had united with Serbia five days previously, while the regions of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Vardar Macedonia were parts of Serbia prior to the unification) and the provisional State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (itself formed from territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire) on 1 December 1918.

Until 6 January 1929, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was a parliamentary monarchy. On that day, King Alexander I abolished the Vidovdan Constitution (adopted in 1921), prorogued the National Assembly and introduced a personal dictatorship (so-called 6 January Dictatorship). He officially renamed the country Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929, and continued to rule as a de facto absolute monarch until his assassination on 9 October 1934, during a state visit to France. After his assassination, parliamentary monarchy was put back in place.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was defeated and occupied on 17 April 1941 after the German invasion. The monarchy was formally abolished on 29 November 1945.

All monarchs were members of the House of Karađorđević. Peter I, previously King of Serbia (since 1903), was proclaimed King by representatives of South Slav states. The royal family continued through his son (Alexander I) and his grandson (Peter II).

NamePortraitBirthMarriagesDeathSuccession rightNote
Peter I
1 December 1918–
16 August 1921
Peter I of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes29 June 1844
Belgrade
son of Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia and Persida Nenadović
Princess Zorka of Montenegro
1883
5 children
16 August 1921
Belgrade
aged 77
previously King of Serbia,
proclaimed King by representatives of South Slav states
Held the title "King of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes". Prince Alexander served as regent in his final years.
Alexander I
16 August 1921–
9 October 1934
Alexander I of Yugoslavia16 December 1888
Cetinje
son of Peter I and Princess Zorka of Montenegro
Maria of Yugoslavia
8 June 1922
3 children
9 October 1934
Marseilles
aged 45
son of the precedingChanged title to "King of Yugoslavia" in 1929.
Assassinated in Marseilles.
Paul
9 October 1934–
27 March 1941
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia27 April 1893
Saint Petersburg
son of Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia and Aurora Pavlovna Demidova
Olga of Greece and Denmark
22 October 1923
3 children
14 September 1976
Paris
aged 83
cousin of the precedingPrince Regent for Peter II.
Peter II
9 October 1934–
29 November 1945
Peter II of Yugoslavia6 September 1923
Belgrade
son of Alexander I and Maria of Yugoslavia
Alexandra of Greece and Denmark
20 March 1944
1 child
3 November 1970
Denver
aged 47
son of the precedingPrince Paul acted as regent until ousted on 27 March 1941; exiled on 17 April 1941 and deposed on 29 November 1945.

SFR Yugoslavia[edit]

President of Yugoslavia
Standard of the President of SFR Yugoslavia.svg
Formation29 December 1945
First holderIvan Ribar
Final holderStjepan Mesić
Abolished5 December 1991
SuccessionCroatia Franjo Tuđman
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dobrica Ćosić
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1998).svg Alija Izetbegović
Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov
Slovenia Milan Kučan

After the German invasion and fragmentation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, partisans formed the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) in 1942. On 29 November 1943 a AVNOJ conference proclaimed the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, while negotiations with the royal government in exile continued. After the liberation of Belgrade on 20 October 1944, the Communist-led government on 29 November 1945 declared King Peter II deposed and proclaimed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia.

From 1945 to 1953, the President of the Presidium of the National Assembly was the office of the Yugoslav head of state. The post was held by Ivan Ribar.

From 1953 to 1963, Josip Broz Tito simultaneously held the offices of the President of the Republic (head of state) and the President of the Federal Executive Council (head of government). In 1963, the new Constitution renamed the state as Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and divided the office of the President of the Republic from the Presidency of the Federal Council, even if the President of the Republic retained the power to preside over the Government when it met, on the French model.[1]

In 1974, the new Constitution provided for a collective federal presidency, consisting of representatives of the six republics, the two autonomous provinces within Serbia and (until 1988) the President of the League of Communists, with a Chairman in rotation. Notwithstanding, this constitutional provision was suspended because Tito was declared President for Life, thus chaired the collective presidency on a permanent basis. After his death in 1980, one member was annually elected President of the Presidency and acted as head of state.

  League of Communists of Yugoslavia  Socialist Party of Serbia  Croatian Democratic Union  Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro

No.Head of StateLifespanTook officeLeft officePartyRepresentingNote
President of the Presidium of the National Assembly
1945–1953
N/AIvan RibarIvan Ribar1881–196829 December 194514 January 1953Communist Party of Yugoslavia
(party renamed)
N/AThe office of the President of the Presidium of the Yugoslav National Assembly (the Parliament) was the office of the head of state 1945–1953. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia was reorganized and renamed into the League of Communists of Yugoslavia on November 2, 1952.
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
(party renamed)
President
1953–1980
1Josip Broz TitoJosip Broz Tito1892–198014 January 19534 May 1980League of Communists of YugoslaviaN/AOffice of the President of Yugoslavia instituted in 1953. Josip Broz Tito declared president for life in 1974. Office of President of the Presidency instituted to take effect upon Broz's death.
Presidents of the Presidency
1980–1992
1Lazar KoliševskiLazar Koliševski1914–20004 May 198015 May 1980League of Communists of YugoslaviaMacedoniaChairman of the collective head of state. Succeeded Broz after his death as the then sitting Vice President of the Presidency.
2Cvijetin MijatovićCvijetin Mijatović1913–199315 May 198015 May 1981League of Communists of YugoslaviaBosnia and HerzegovinaChairman of the collective head of state.
3Sergej KraigherSergej Kraigher1914–200115 May 198115 May 1982League of Communists of YugoslaviaSloveniaChairman of the collective head of state.
4Petar StambolićPetar Stambolić1912–200715 May 198215 May 1983League of Communists of YugoslaviaSerbiaChairman of the collective head of state.
5Mika ŠpiljakMika Špiljak1916–200715 May 198315 May 1984League of Communists of YugoslaviaCroatiaChairman of the collective head of state.
6Veselin ĐuranovićVeselin Đuranović1925–199715 May 198415 May 1985League of Communists of YugoslaviaMontenegroChairman of the collective head of state.
7Radovan VlajkovićRadovan Vlajković1922–200115 May 198515 May 1986League of Communists of YugoslaviaSAP VojvodinaChairman of the collective head of state.
8Sinan HasaniSinan Hasani1922–201015 May 198615 May 1987League of Communists of YugoslaviaSAP KosovoChairman of the collective head of state.
9Lazar MojsovLazar Mojsov1920–201115 May 198715 May 1988League of Communists of YugoslaviaMacedoniaChairman of the collective head of state.
10Raif DizdarevićRaif Dizdarević1926–15 May 198815 May 1989League of Communists of YugoslaviaBosnia and HerzegovinaChairman of the collective head of state.
11Janez DrnovšekJanez Drnovšek1950–200815 May 198915 May 1990League of Communists of YugoslaviaSloveniaChairman of the collective head of state.
12Borisav JovićBorisav Jović1928–15 May 199015 May 1991League of Communists of Yugoslavia (until January 1990)SerbiaChairman of the collective head of state. League of Communists of Yugoslavia dissolved into six separate parties. In Serbia the party was succeeded by the Socialist Party of Serbia.
Socialist Party of Serbia
(from January 1990)
N/ANo image.pngSejdo Bajramović
(acting)
1927–199316 May 199130 June 1991Socialist Party of SerbiaAP KosovoActing president.
13Stjepan MesićStjepan Mesić1934–30 June 19915 December 1991Croatian Democratic UnionCroatiaChairman of the collective head of state. Last President of Yugoslavia.
N/ABranko KostićBranko Kostić
(acting)
1939–5 December 199115 June 1992Democratic Party of Socialists of MontenegroMontenegroActing president. Installed by Serbia and Montenegro.

See also[edit]

References[edit]