Jan Peter Balkenende was elected party leader (or fractievoorzitter) of the CDA after its previous leader Jaap de Hoop Scheffer had to resign because of a conflict with party chairman van Rij, who found de Hoop Scheffer's. election programme to be inadequate and too defensive.

Balkenende's emphasis on norms and values and general unhappiness with the present coalition led him to a major victory in the dutch 2002 general elections and the CDA became the largest party.

As leader of the largest party, Balkenende became the Prime Minister of the Netherlands but the coalition was short-lived. Because of major internal problems of coalition partner LPF the coalition broke apart after 86 days and new tweede kamer elections will be held on January 22th, 2003

Jan Peter Balkenende is well known for his similarity in appearance with Harry Potter. So far he hasn't been able to perform any magic in dutch politics.