CAFP Creates Global Democracy Initiative with American and European Counterparts

Meeting in Washington last week, the the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians (CAFP), the United States Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC) and the Former Members Association of the European Parliament (EPFMA), established the Global Democracy Initiative (GDI).  Building on five successful years utilizing the unique skills of former legislators in overseas election observation as the International Election Monitors Institute, the partners have decided to expand the scope and outreach of the program by creating GDI.

The mission of this new initiative is to promote democracy around the world and to increase our portfolio of activities from election monitoring to working with countries before, during, and after elections, according to GDI’s new President, Léo Duguay, who is also president of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians.

“We have come together to offer our substantial and diverse legislative expertise to help nations build and maintain governments based on the rule of law and transparency,” Duguay said. “Through our Canadian, American, and European legislators’ experience, we are confident that we can make a real difference in nations struggling to foster true democratic principles and institutions.”

Pete Weichlein, Chief Executive Officer of USAFMC, said that GDI’s international former legislators donate their time, and receive no fee for their service.

“We’re thrilled that what was simply an election monitoring effort has turned into such a dynamic, international program and we are proud to be a partner,” said Weichlein.  “By bundling the efforts and expertise of the three founding organizations into one common-purpose outreach, we expect GDI to become a sought-after democracy-building partner,” Weichlein concluded.

Weichlein said former legislators from his Association, as well as their Canadian and European counterparts, have participated in such democracy building activities as election monitoring, post-democracy building work, and the placement of trained legislators in existing missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Kenya, and many other nations.


For further information contact:

Jack Silverstone
Executive Director, Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians
613-947-1690 /

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