|Founded||13 October 1990|
|Regional affiliation||Liberal South East European Network|
|European affiliation||Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe|
|European Parliament group||Renew Europe|
As of April 2015 HNS forms a parliamentary club with 5 members in the Croatian Parliament, making them the fourth largest party in Croatia in terms of parliament representation. HNS is a full member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party. Since 17 December 2017, the party's leader has been Ivan Vrdoljak.
The People's Party in Croatia was originally formed in 1841, during the period of Croatian romantic nationalism. The Croatian People's Party describes the events of the Illyrian movement since 1835 as its history.[clarification needed]. After 1861 the People's Party was known as the People's Liberal Party, its main splinter party was the Independent People's Party (1880-1903) which became more pro-autonomist, while the "old" People's Party developed into "party of the Settlement" having collaborated with the pro-Hungarian Unionist Party (known as the People's Constitutional Party). The Progressive Party (1904-1906) and the Croatian People's Progressive Party (1906-1910) were also liberal parties in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia as an autonomous part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In 1860 the national liberals formed in the Dalmatia (Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) the National party known also as the People's Party in Dalmatia. The party developed into a conservative party around 1889 (the National Croatian Party).
During Communism in the second Yugoslavia (the Socialist Republic of Croatia, SRH), the liberal leaders of the League of Communists of Croatia were Savka Dab?evi?-Ku?ar and Miko Tripalo, who participated in the Croatian Spring of 1971.
The modern Croatian People's Party was formed in late 1990 by members of the Coalition of People's Accord (Croatian: Koalicija narodnog sporazuma) which had participated on the first multi-party election of 1990, led by Savka Dab?evi?-Ku?ar, Miko Tripalo, Dragutin Haramija and others.
The HNS remained a small opposition party. In the 1992 election they won 6.7% of the vote and attained 6 seats in the Croatian Parliament. In 1994, construction entrepreneur Radimir ?a?i? became party chairman. In the 1995 election they won 2 seats as part of an election alliance.
In the January 2000 election they formed a four-party coalition with HSS, LS and IDS, which together won 25 seats in the Parliament, two of whom were HNS representatives. As a result, the party participated in the 2000-2003 government of Ivica Ra?an through the minister of public works, construction and reconstruction Radimir ?a?i?. A few weeks later, the coalition's candidate and HNS member Stjepan Mesi? was elected President of the Republic.
In the November 2003 elections, their alliance with the Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and the Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party won 8% of the vote and 11 out of 151 seats, 10 of them HNS representatives. However, despite significantly improved results, the party moved to the opposition.
A second element of today's People's Party, the Party of Liberal Democrats or Libra, originated in time of the Ra?an government when in 2002 Dra?en Budi?a, the leader of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), pulled out of the coalition. Ten members of parliament from Budi?a's party, led by Jozo Rado?, refused to bring down the government and instead split from the HSLS, forming Libra, the Party of Liberal Democrats. That party won 3 seats in the 2003 election. On 6 February 2005, most of the 1,250 representatives of HNS on its seventh convention voted to merge with Libra as the Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats. The total number of parliamentary seats for the party increased to 13.
In the November 2007 elections the party ran on its own and got around 7% of the vote and 7 seats in the Croatian Sabor. It remained in the opposition. In April 2008 Radimir ?a?i? was elected as party chair after defeating Dragutin Lesar (MP). Lesar left the party, first acting as an independent MP, but then founded a splinter party, Croatian Laburists in March 2010. Zlatko Horvat MP left the party as well.
In 2011 elections, HNS participated in centre-left Kukuriku coalition spearheaded by SDP. After the coalition won, HNS entered the cabinet and held posts of foreign relations, commerce, culture etc. ?a?i? was reelected as a party chairman again in March 2012. After he was sentenced to a prison term due to a traffic accident in which two people died, he resigned from the cabinet and was forced to leave the party. Vesna Pusi? was elected as party president in 2013. On 21 September 2014 about 200 members from HNS Zagreb and Vara?din branches each left the party in order to form liberal and centrist People's Party - Reformists under Radimir ?a?i?'s leadership.
HNS held the same alliance in the parliamentary elections of 2015 and 2016 as a part of SDP-led People's coalition, switching to opposition. After the party chairman Ivan Vrdoljak and the party's general board decided to enter the government with centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and support Andrej Plenkovic's cabinet in the parliament (overriding the opposition of party's Presidency), in June 2017 four MPs and the only MEP (Jozo Rado?) left the party to create left of the centre Civic Liberal Alliance. This splinter also resulted in numerous party members and branch leaders leaving the party, either to join Civic Liberal Alliance or other parties. In October 2018, MP Marija Puh left the party fraction in the parliament to join Milan Bandic's party, reducing the fraction further down to just 4 MPs.
|--||Predrag ?tromar||2017 (Acting)|
The following is a summary of the party's results in legislative elections for the Croatian parliament. The "Total votes" and "Percentage" columns include sums of votes won by pre-election coalitions HNS had been part of. After preferential votes were added to the electoral system, the votes column also includes the statistic of the total number of such votes received by candidates of HNS on coalition lists. The "Total seats" column includes sums of seats won by HNS in election constituencies plus representatives of ethnic minorities affiliated with HNS.
|Election||In coalition with||Votes won||Percentage||Seats won||Change||Government|
|(Coalition totals)||(HNS only)|
|Election||In coalition with||Votes won
|Percentage||Total seats won
The following is a list of presidential candidates who were endorsed by HNS in elections for President of Croatia.
|Election||Candidate||First round result||Second round result|
|1992 (Aug)||Savka Dab?evi?-Ku?ar (HNS)||6.0%||Third||--|
|1997 (Jun)||Vlado Gotovac (HSLS)||17.6%||Third||--|
|2000 (Jan-Feb)||Stjepan Mesi? (HNS)||41.1%||First||56.0%||Won|
|2005 (Jan)||Stjepan Mesi? (Ind.)||48.9%||First||65.9%||Won|
|2009-10 (Dec-Jan)||Vesna Pusi? (HNS)||7.3%||Fifth||--|
|2014-15 (Dec-Jan)||Ivo Josipovi? (Ind.)||38.5%||First||49.3%||Runner-up|