The president of the Republic of Croatia is the head of state and is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. There is a two-term limit on the office. The president has an extensive veto power and may also issue decrees with the force of law. He appoints the prime minister and the cabinet, a council of ministers that is proposed by the prime minister. The president is also the commander in chief of the armed forces.
Mesic was elected with 56% of the vote in 2000. Mesic's personality reflects an openness and hope for change and ethnic reconciliation for the Balkans that is reflected in his policies and demeanor. After his election to the presidency, he appointed Ivica Racan to the office of prime minister.