It was formed by Brascoe Lee & Bobby Marsh. Bruce Golding was invited to become the first President. Golding was formerly the chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) before he and others felt the need to split. In our 1997 manifesto, we expressed the reasons why we felt the need to break from the Jamaica Labour Party. Namely, we believed that after gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, Jamaicans had suffered from the harsh combination of a stagnant economy and a rapidly growing population. We believed that the Jamaican people needed major reform in order to create a more equitable, stable society. The party made its presence known in the General Election in December 1997. As of December 2013, the current President of the NDM is Peter Townsend and the current Chairman is Michael Williams.