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Stjepan Mesić (born December 24, 1934) is a retired Croatian politician who served as Prime Minister of Croatia from 1987 to 1990 and again from 1994 until 1997, his first term as leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and his second as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS), after having led many party members in an exodus from the increasingly conservative HDZ following the inconclusive 1994 elections and being given the Premiership as a reward by then-LDS leader Savka Dabnevic-Kucan. In 2000, Mesić ran for and was elected President of Croatia, a mostly honorary position, and was again elected President to a second term in 2005. He retired following the expiration of his second term in 2010. He is often regarded as the most popular politician alive in Croatia and his two terms of service are fondly regarded in the country, mostly for their economic growth and political peace.