Istrian Democratic Assembly

The Istrian Democratic Assembly (Croatian: Istarski demokratski sabor, Italian: Dieta democratica istriana or IDS-DDI) is a centre[4][5] to centre-left,[6] regionalist,[3][7] liberal[4] political party in Croatia primarily operating in Istria County.

Istrian Democratic Assembly
Istarski demokratski sabor
Dieta democratica istriana
LeaderDalibor Paus
Founded14 February 1990 (1990-02-14)[1]
Membership (2018)2,300[2]
Political positionCentre to centre-left
National affiliationRestart Coalition (2011–2015, 2020–),
Amsterdam Coalition
Regional affiliationLiberal South East European Network
European affiliationAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
International affiliationLiberal International
European Parliament groupRenew Europe
Colours  Light green
3 / 151
European Parliament
1 / 12
County Prefects
0 / 21
5 / 128
Assembly of Istria County
23 / 41

IDS was founded on the 14 February 1990 by the writer Ivan Pauletta. IDS embraces principles of respect for human rights and freedoms, regionalism and historical characteristics of Istria, protection of private property and anti-fascism. Party advocates decentralization of Croatia,[8] further development of the Adriatic Euroregion[8] and the establishment of a transnational and cross-border euro-region encompassing the whole of Istria. The party president is currently Dalibor Paus, municipal mayor of Barban. IDS held the Ministry of European Integration between 2000 and 2001 in the Cabinet of Ivica Račan and Ministry of Tourism between 2011 and 2015 in the Cabinet of Zoran Milanović. IDS member Boris Miletić serves as current County Prefect of the Istrian County, while former prefect Valter Flego serves as a member of the European Parliament. All prefects of Istria County were members of IDS. In addition, out of 10 towns in Istria county, IDS rules over 5.

IDS is member of the Liberal International and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.


The three rams on the party coat of arms represent a historical symbol of the region, which is also represented by the ram in the fourth of the five parts of the crown resting atop the Croatian coat of arms, 25-field white and red chequerboard, on the Croatian flag.


The party was founded in 1990 by Ivan Pauletta, Elio Martinčić and Mario Sandrić, on the eve of the first multi-party elections in Croatia after communism. The party decided not to participate, thus allowing the post-communist Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) to sweep the region's votes.

The party was led by Ivan Jakovčić between 1991 and 2014. IDS instead made its electoral debut in the 1992 elections and used the collapse of the SDP to take all three Istrian constituencies.

This result turned Istria into an area of significant concern for Croatian President Franjo Tuđman and his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which had dominated every other region in Croatia. For the first elections for Croatian Chamber of Counties, which also coincided with the first election for newly formed Istria County, state-controlled media launched an unprecedented media blitz directed almost exclusively at Istria. This effort spectacularly backfired as Istrian voters gave almost three quarters of their votes to IDS. After that no party challenged IDS supremacy in Istria, at least not directly.

The main policy of the IDS is intercession of cultural and economical identity of Istria and equal status for Italian and Croatian in Istria. This was in opposition to Tuđman and his hard-line nationalism. Other Croatian political parties were more pragmatic, and IDS cooperated with them in the Croatian Parliament and during elections. In Istria, however, IDS is bitterly opposed by local branches of SDP, as well as their former member and first Istrian prefect Luciano Delbianco who had defected and formed a new party called Istrian Democratic Forum.

IDS was briefly part of the national government following 2000 parliamentary and presidential elections. One year later, IDS, dissatisfied with the way Ivica Račan and his coalition partners treated Istria, left the government, although they continued to support it in Parliament.

In 2006, IDS joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party.

From 2010–2015 IDS was a member of the Kukuriku coalition. Its member Darko Lorencin served as the minister of tourism in the Croatian government; he is a cousin of Beatrice Lorenzin: they are of a same Italian-Croat family.

In the Croatian Parliament, Damir Kajin most frequently acted as the party's spokesperson, and he headed the party list in the 2007 elections where the party gained 3 representatives. Kajin was however removed from the party's membership on 3 January 2013 after forming his own coalition for the 2013 local elections in Istria.[9] This reduced the IDS from three to two representatives in the Croatian Sabor, and forced the party's parliamentary club to dissolve due to insufficient membership.

On February 4, 2022, the party's presidency launched disciplinary proceedings against former President Boris Miletić, leading Miletić to leave party a day later and leaving the IDS without an Istrian county prefect for the first time since the counties was introduced in 1993.[10]

Electoral historyEdit

Parliament (Sabor)Edit

Election In coalition with Votes won Percentage Seats won Change Government
(Coalition totals) (IDS only)
1992 (August) DA-PGS 83,623 3.18 (#7)
4 / 138
1995 (October) HSS-HNS-HKDU-SBHS 441,390 18.26 (#2)
3 / 127
  1 Opposition
2000 (January) HSS-HNS-LS-SDA 432,527 14.70 (#3)
4 / 151
  1 Government
2003 (November) SDP-LIBRALS 560,593 22.6 (#2)
4 / 151
2007 (November) None 38,267 1.5 (#4)
3 / 151
  1 Opposition
2011 (December) Kukuriku Coalition 958,312 40.4 (#1)
2 / 151
  1 Government
2015 (November) PGS-RI 42,193 1.83 (#4)
3 / 151
  1 Opposition
2016 (September) PGS-RI 43,180 2.27 (#5)
3 / 151
2020 (July) Restart Coalition 414,615 24.87 (#2)
3 / 151

European ParliamentEdit

Election In coalition with Votes won
(Coalition totals)
Percentage Total seats won
(IDS only)
Seat change
2013 (April) None
0 / 12
2014 (May) Kukuriku Coalition 275,904 29.93%
1 / 11
2019 (May) Amsterdam Coalition 55,806 5.19%
1 / 12

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Istarski Demokratski Sabor" (PDF) (in Croatian). HIDRA. Retrieved 23 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "HNS Vesne Pusić ima više članova od Milanovićeva SDP-a".
  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2020). "Croatia". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  4. ^ a b Lucien Ellington (2004). Eastern Europe: An Introduction to the People, Land, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 443. ISBN 978-1-57607-800-6.
  5. ^ "Croatia – Parties". Europe Elects. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  6. ^ Ban, Barbara (15 February 2020). "IDS PROSLAVIO 30. GODIŠNJICU". Jutarnji list. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  7. ^ Janusz Bugajski (1995). Ethnic Politics in Eastern Europe: A Guide to Nationality Policies, Organizations, and Parties. M.E. Sharpe. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-7656-1911-2.
  8. ^ a b "Programska deklaracija Istarskog demokratskog sabora" [Program declaration of the Istrian Democratic Assembly] (PDF). Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  9. ^ PREKRŠIO STRANAČKA PRAVILA Statut ga nije volio: Damir Kajin večeras izbrisan iz članstva IDS-a Archived 2013-01-06 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Potres u najvećoj regionalnoj stranci, Miletić istupio iz IDS-a: Nakon 29 godina i prvi put otkako postoje županije, IDS je izgubio istarskog župana" [Earthquake in the largest regional party, Miletić withdrew from IDS: "After 29 years and for the first time since the existence of counties, IDS has lost its Istrian prefect"]. (in Croatian). 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.

External linksEdit