Former electoral chief of Canada now on board at GECOM

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Former elections chief of Canada, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, is now in place at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to share his advice on best practices in operational matters, GECOM’s Public Relations Office Yolanda Ward has confirmed.

She said that the Canadian Government had offered technical assistance to GECOM and that assistance was accepted.

As a result, Kingsley arrived in Guyana this week; his visit is a short one, but when he leaves, Ward said he will be in close contact with GECOM.

“He will return periodically and may stay extensively closer to the elections,” Ward told the News Room.

Kingsley served as Chief Electoral Officer of Canada from 1990 to 2007.

“During his term, he adopted a proactive role for his Office, recommending and promoting key initiatives to make the electoral process more accessible,” Elections Canada stated on its website.

While ushering in reforms needed to comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, he led Elections Canada into the age of computerized election administration.

In 1992, with the adoption of Bill C-78, Elections Canada gained a new mandate to inform and educate voters, particularly those most likely to experience difficulties in exercising their democratic rights.

Other achievements include the introduction of the 36-day election calendar, digitized electoral geography systems and products, and the establishment of the National Register of Electors.

In addition, the election financing regime was expanded to regulate third-party advertising and election financing of all political entities, combining to make the electoral process more fair and transparent.

Jean-Pierre Kingsley also presided over a period of unprecedented technological change, including the development of the Elections Canada Web site as a comprehensive tool for public information.

During his tenure, Elections Canada participated in many significant international development missions aimed at promoting democratic electoral processes through co-operation, capacity building and mutually beneficial relationships.

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