House leaders on Wednesday named 16 of their members to a new commission that will offer advice and assistance to legislators in emerging democracies.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said the House Democracy Assistance Commission would help counterparts in new democracies with such basic functions as committee operations, constituent relations and oversight.

"The commission will be a resource for democracy, helping to provide tools fashioned from more than 200 years of experience," Pelosi said.

The nine Republicans and seven Democrats on the commission, led by Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and David Price, D-N.C., will also make recommendations to the U.S. Agency for International Development for material assistance such as office equipment and computers.

The five candidate countries for first-year partnerships are East Timor (search), Georgia, Indonesia (search), Kenya and Macedonia.