(1956– )
   Politician. After studying history and law at the Free University of Amsterdam, Balkenende worked at the bureau of the Academic Council and the research institute of the Christen Democratisch Appel (CDA). From 1993 until 2002, he was part-time professor of Christian-Social thinking at the Free University. In 1998, he was elected to Parliament, and in 2001, he became leader of the CDA. In 2002, Balkenende was appointed prime minister. His first cabinet was an unstable coalition with the liberal Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) and the populist Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF); his second, beginning in 2003, combined the VVD and the social-liberals of Democraten 1966 (D66); and his third, since July 2006, was a minority government with the VVD alone after D66 left the coalition due to the handling of the issue of the Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s citizenship. In 2007, Balkenende formed his fourth coalition cabinet, this time with the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) and the Christen Unie (CU).

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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