National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development
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National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (French: Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le dévelopement, MRND) was the ruling political party of Rwanda from 1975 to 1994 under President Juvénal Habyarimana. It was dominated by Hutus, particularly from President Habyarimana's home region of Northern Rwanda. The party was founded in 1975 as the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (Mouvement Révolutionaire National pour le Développement). The elite group of MRND party members who were known to have influence on the President and his wife - as well as to be responsible for the planning of the Rwandan Genocide - are known as the akazu.
From 1975 until 1991, the MRND was the only legal political party in the country. Habyarimana has been described as a moderate though the party is said to have used right-wing propaganda methods, advanced a conservative political agenda and was anti-communist. The party had institutional structures that paralleled the government structures at each level, down to the sector and cell. Habyarimana was the president of the party, and as such was the only candidate for president of the republic. However, in a minor concession to democracy, voters were presented with two MRND candidates at Legislative Assembly elections. The party's name was changed after the legalization of opposition political parties in 1991.
After the RPF invasion in 1990, members of the MRND created the magazine Kangura. The youth wing of the party, the interahamwe, was later developed into a militia group that played a key role in the 1994 genocide. After Habyarimana's death in April 1994, hardline elements of the party were among the chief architects of the Rwandan Genocide. After Rwanda was conquered by the rival Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front led by Paul Kagame, the MRND was driven from power and outlawed.
The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic, which played a large role in the Rwandan genocide, was a hard-line faction of the MRND that became a separate party.
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