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Christen-Democratisch Appèl

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The Christen-Democratisch Appèl (CDA, "Christian Democratic Appeal") is a political party of the Netherlands that was established in 1973. The CDA is a fusion of three Christian parties: the Reformed Christelijk-Historische Unie[?] (CHU), the Protestant Anti-Revolutionaire Partij (ARP) and the Catholic Katholieke Volkspartij[?] (KVP), which were also known as the "three large confessional parties".

The architect of the new alliance was Piet Steenkamp[?]. However the three parties had been discussing the merger since 1967. The discussion took place among the "Group of Eighteen", where the most important point of discussion was the concept "Christian politics".

From 1918 to 1994 the CDA and the old parties were always part of the governing coalition. The CDA was represented in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) from 1977 and took part in the cabinets of Dries van Agt and Ruud Lubbers. Between 1994 and 2002 it formed the largest faction in opposition during the two cabinets of Wim Kok.

Following the elections of May 15, 2002 the party had the largest faction in the lower house and led the formation of a new coalition and the cabinet Balkenende-1.

Development of the number of seats in the Tweede Kamer, of the 150 available:

1956 - 77 (KVP 49, ARP 15, CHU 13)
1959 - 75 (KVP 49, ARP 14, CHU 12)
1963 - 76 (KVP 50, ARP 13, CHU 13)
1967 - 70 (KVP 43, ARP 15, CHU 12)
1971 - 58 (KVP 35, ARP 13, CHU 10)
1972 - 49 (KVP 27, ARP 14, CHU 7)
1977 - 48
1981 - 44
1982 - 45
1986 - 54
1989 - 54
1994 - 34
1998 - 29
2002 - 43
2003 - 44

The chairman of the Tweede Kamer faction from October 1, 2001 was Jan Peter Balkenende. He also functioned as lijsttrekker (heading the party's list of candidates) for the 2002 election and became the Prime Minister.

Following Balkenende's official appointment as Prime Minister (July 22, 2002), the faction chose Maxime Verhagen[?] as chairman of the Tweede Kamer faction. This happened because a member of government isn't allowed in the Netherlands to be member of parliament.

Former faction chairpersons of the CDA in the Tweede Kamer:

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