Jacques Wallage started his political career as a member of the Groningen city council, and later on as alderman in the same city. Between 1981 and 1989 he was member of parliament for the PvdA (Labor Party). He was appointed staatssecretaris (junior minister) of Education and Science in 1989 in the third cabinet of Ruud Lubbers. Wallage became staatssecretaris for a second time (this time of Social Affairs) in 1993 after the resignation of Elske ter Veld.
Wallage served as campaignleader for the PvdA in the months preceding the 1994 elections for the Dutch House of Representatives. During this time, he dissuaded the PvdA leader at that time, Wim Kok, from engaging in debates with Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen. From 1994 to 1998 Wallage was head of the PvdA in the House of Representatives. Despite his re-election in 1998 he accepted the job as mayor of Groningen. He was succeeded by Ad Melkert as head of the PvdA-fraction.
- (Dutch) Parlement.com biography
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