List of heads of state of Yugoslavia

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 Presidency of the National Assembly (parliamentary speaker), and then by President Josip Broz Tito from 1953 up until his death in 1980. Afterwards, the Presidency of Yugoslavia assumed the role of the collective head of state, rotating the presidency among representatives of republics and autonomous provinces. 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 introduction of multi-party system in 1990, individual republics elected their own heads of state, but the country's head of state continued to rotate among appointed representatives of republics and autonomous provinces until the country's dissolution.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

King of Yugoslavia
Kralj Jugoslavije
Краљ Југославије
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg
Peter II Karadordevic.jpg
Last to reign
Peter II
StyleHis Majesty
First monarchPeter I
Last monarchPeter II
Formation1 December 1918
Abolition29 November 1945
ResidenceRoyal Compound, Belgrade
Pretender(s)Line of succession

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 Austria-Hungary) 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, although granted the 1931 Constitution, 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 Karađorđević dynasty. Peter I, previously King of Serbia (since the May Coup in 1903 against the Obrenović dynasty), was proclaimed King by representatives of South Slav states. The royal family continued through his son (Alexander I) and his grandson (Peter II).


 Denotes Acting Head of State
Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death Succession right Note
Peter I
1 December 1918

16 August 1921
(2 years, 259 days)
Peter I of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes 29 June 1844
Son of Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia and Persida Nenadović
Princess Zorka of Montenegro
5 children
16 August 1921
aged 77
Previously King of Serbia (June 15, 1903 – December 1, 1918),
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
(13 years, 55 days)
Alexander I of Yugoslavia 16 December 1888
Son of Peter I and Princess Zorka of Montenegro
Maria of Yugoslavia
8 June 1922
3 children
9 October 1934
aged 45
Son of the preceding Changed title to "King of Yugoslavia" in 1929.
Assassinated in Marseilles.
9 October 1934

27 March 1941
(6 years, 170 days)
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia 27 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
aged 83
Cousin of the preceding Served as regent for Peter II, together with Radenko Stanković and Ivo Perović.
Peter II
9 October 1934

29 November 1945
(11 years, 52 days)
Peter II of Yugoslavia 6 September 1923
Son of Alexander I and Maria of Yugoslavia
Alexandra of Greece and Denmark
20 March 1944
1 child
3 November 1970
aged 47
Son of the preceding Ruled under the regency until the coup d'état on 27 March 1941; exiled on 17 April 1941 and deposed on 29 November 1945.

SFR Yugoslavia

President of Yugoslavia
Predsednik Jugoslavije
Председник Југославије
Standard of the President of SFR Yugoslavia.svg
Formation29 December 1945
First holderIvan Ribar
Final holderStjepan Mesić
Abolished5 December 1991
SuccessionCroatia Franjo Tuđman
Serbia and Montenegro Dobrica Ćosić
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1998).svg Alija Izetbegović
North 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 an 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). The 1963 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]

The 1974 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.


 Communist Party / League of Communists  Liberal Democratic Party of Slovenia  Socialist Party of Serbia  Croatian Democratic Union  Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro  Denotes Acting Head of State

No. Portrait Name
Representing Term of office Political party Note
Took office Left office Time in office
President of the Presidency of the National Assembly
Ivan Ribar
Ivan Ribar
N/A29 December 194514 January 19537 years, 16 daysSKJ
The office of the President of the Presidency of the National Assembly was the office of the head of state 1945–1953.
Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
N/A14 January 19534 May 1980 †27 years, 111 daysSKJOffice of the President instituted in 1953. Tito declared president for life in 1974.
Presidents of the Presidency
Lazar Koliševski
Lazar Koliševski
Macedonia4 May 198015 May 198011 daysSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Cvijetin Mijatović
Cvijetin Mijatović
Bosnia and
15 May 198015 May 19811 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Sergej Kraigher
Sergej Kraigher
Slovenia15 May 198115 May 19821 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Petar Stambolić
Petar Stambolić
Serbia15 May 198215 May 19831 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Mika Špiljak
Mika Špiljak
Croatia15 May 198315 May 19841 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Veselin Đuranović
Veselin Đuranović
Montenegro15 May 198415 May 19851 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Radovan Vlajković
Radovan Vlajković
SAP Vojvodina15 May 198515 May 19861 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Sinan Hasani
Sinan Hasani
SAP Kosovo15 May 198615 May 19871 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Lazar Mojsov
Lazar Mojsov
Macedonia15 May 198715 May 19881 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Raif Dizdarević
Raif Dizdarević
(born 1926)
Bosnia and
15 May 198815 May 19891 yearSKJChairman of the collective head of state.
Janez Drnovšek
Janez Drnovšek
Slovenia15 May 198915 May 19901 yearLDS
Joined Liberal Democratic Party of Slovenia in February 1990.
Borisav Jović
Borisav Jović
(born 1928)
Serbia15 May 199015 May 19911 yearSPS
SKJ dissolved in 1990.
In Serbia the party was succeeded by the SPS.
Sejdo Bajramović
Sejdo Bajramović
AP Kosovo16 May 199130 June 199145 daysSPSActing president.
Stjepan Mesić
Stjepan Mesić
(born 1934)
Croatia30 June 19915 December 1991158 daysHDZLast president of Yugoslavia.
Branko Kostić
Branko Kostić
Montenegro5 December 199115 June 1992193 daysDPSActing president.
Installed by Serbia and Montenegro.

See also



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