List of heads of state of Yugoslavia

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This is a List of heads of state of Yugoslavia from the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 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 Presidency of the People's Assembly (president of the parliament), and then by President Josip Broz Tito until his death in 1980, when the a collective federal presidency rotated the presidency among the republic representatives. 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
Former Monarchy
Royal Standard of the King of Yugoslavia (1937–1941).svg
Royal Standard
Peter II Karadordevic.jpg
Peter II
First monarch Peter I
Last monarch Peter II
Style His Majesty
Official residence Royal Compound
Appointer Hereditary
Monarchy began 1 December 1918
Monarchy ended 29 November 1945
Current 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 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 after the German invasion on 17 April 1941. 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).

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Succession right Royal house Note
Peter I
1 December 1918–
16 August 1921
Peter I of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 29 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
House of
Karađorđević
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 Yugoslavia 16 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 preceding House of
Karađorđević
Changed title to "King of Yugoslavia" in 1929.
Assassinated in Marseilles.
Peter II
9 October 1934–
29 November 1945
Peter II of Yugoslavia 6 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 preceding House of
Karađorđević
Prince Paul acted as regent until ousted on 27 March 1941; exiled on 17 April 1941 and deposed on 29 November 1945.

Federal Yugoslavia[edit]

President of Yugoslavia
Former political post
Standard of the President of SFR Yugoslavia.svg
Mesic cropped facingleft.jpg
Successor Croatia 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
First officeholder Ivan Ribar
Last officeholder Stjepan Mesić
Office began 29 December 1945
Office ended 5 December 1991

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 State Lifespan Took office Left office Party Representing Note
President of the Presidium of the National Assembly
1945–1953
N/A Ivan Ribar Ivan Ribar 1881–1968 29 December 1945 14 January 1953 Communist Party of Yugoslavia
(party renamed)
N/A The 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
1953–1974
1 Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz Tito 1892–1980 14 January 1953 16 May 1974 League of Communists of Yugoslavia N/A Office of the President of Yugoslavia instituted.
Presidents of the Presidency
1974–1992
1 Josip Broz Tito Josip Broz Tito 1892–1980 16 May 1974 4 May 1980 League of Communists of Yugoslavia N/A Collective head of state instituted: the Yugoslav Presidency headed by a President of the Presidency. Josip Broz Tito declared president for life.
2 Lazar Koliševski Lazar Koliševski 1914–2000 4 May 1980 15 May 1980 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Macedonia Chairman of the collective head of state.
3 No image.png Cvijetin Mijatović 1913–1992 15 May 1980 15 May 1981 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairman of the collective head of state.
4 Sergej Kraigher Sergej Kraigher 1914–2001 15 May 1981 15 May 1982 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Slovenia Chairman of the collective head of state.
5 Petar Stambolic Petar Stambolić 1912–2007 15 May 1982 15 May 1983 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Serbia Chairman of the collective head of state.
6 No image.png Mika Špiljak 1916–2007 15 May 1983 15 May 1984 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Croatia Chairman of the collective head of state.
7 No image.png Veselin Đuranović 1925–1997 15 May 1984 15 May 1985 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Montenegro Chairman of the collective head of state.
8 No image.png Radovan Vlajković 1922–2001 15 May 1985 15 May 1986 League of Communists of Yugoslavia SAP Vojvodina Chairman of the collective head of state.
9 No image.png Sinan Hasani 1922–2010 15 May 1986 15 May 1987 League of Communists of Yugoslavia SAP Kosovo Chairman of the collective head of state.
10 No image.png Lazar Mojsov 1920–2011 15 May 1987 15 May 1988 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Macedonia Chairman of the collective head of state.
11 Raif Dizdarević Raif Dizdarević 1926– 15 May 1988 15 May 1989 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairman of the collective head of state.
12 Janez Drnovšek Janez Drnovšek 1950–2008 15 May 1989 15 May 1990 League of Communists of Yugoslavia Slovenia Chairman of the collective head of state.
13 Borisav Jović Borisav Jović 1928– 15 May 1990 15 May 1991 League of Communists of Yugoslavia (until January 1990) Serbia Chairman 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/A No image.png Sejdo Bajramović
(acting)
1927–1993 16 May 1991 30 June 1991 Socialist Party of Serbia AP Kosovo Acting
14 Stjepan Mesić Stjepan Mesić 1934– 30 June 1991 5 December 1991 Croatian Democratic Union Croatia Chairman of the collective head of state. Last President of Yugoslavia.
N/A No image.png Branko Kostić
(acting)
1939– 5 December 1991 15 June 1992 Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro Montenegro Acting president. Installed by Serbia and Montenegro.

See also[edit]

References[edit]