Parties were organized shortly after self-government was achieved in 1959. However, when the Brunei People's Party won 98% of the legislative seats in the country's only election, held in 1962, the sultan barred its candidates from office and outlawed all political parties under a continuing state of emergency. Political parties reemerged in the 1980s, but in 1988 they were banned and many of their leaders were arrested. At that time, the political parties were: the Brunei National Democratic Party (BNDP), founded in 1985, and the Brunei National United Party (BNUP), founded in 1986 by an offshoot of the BNDP. In contrast to the BNDP, membership in the BNUP was open not to Brunei Malays only, but to other indigenous people, whether Muslim or not. The Chinese were left with the option of forming their own party. (Under Brunei's restrictive naturalization policies only 6,000 Chinese had been granted citizenship.)
In 1995, the Brunei National Solidarity Party (PPKB in Malay), one of the initial parties that had been banned in 1962, formally requested authorization to hold a convention and elected Abdul Latif Chuchu, the former secretary-general of the BNDP, as its president. As of 2002, its president was Mohd Hatta bin Haji Zainal Abidin.