07/01/2008. A congress of pro-presidential independent deputies and representatives of small political parties established the National Party for Democracy and Development (PNDD) on Saturday (January 5th) in Nouakchott, local media reported. The PNDD national Council has 255 members and is chaired by Yahya Ould Ahmed al-Waqf, Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic.
On Sunday, major opposition parties presented a written statement strongly criticising the move. Saying that the PNDD consists of a number of former President Maaouya Ould Sid' Ahmed Taya's associates, the statement described the party as a "threat to democracy". It also drew parallels to the country's history of one-party rule.
The statement was signed by the Union of the Forces for Progress (UFP), the Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD), the Alliance for Justice and Democracy (AJD), the Movement for Renovation, the Union for Change in Mauritania (HATEM) and the National Rally for Reform and Development (RNRD).