Michaelle Jean to vie for Francophonie post despite Canada, Quebec pulling support

Michaelle Jean to vie for Francophonie post despite Canada, Quebec pulling support

That hope seems very unlikely now.

The appointment sealed on the second day of the summit of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) in Armenia, will be regarded as a win for Rwanda, France and the African continent.

Created in 1970 along lines blazed by the Commonwealth, the OIF brings together 58 countries and regional governments, representing 274 million speakers of French around the world.

On June 30, 2018, Mushikiwabo was endorsed by the Executive Council of the African Union for the candidacy of the post of Secretary General of la Francophonie.

That support now appears to have changed. She has called the media reports "smear campaigns, disinformation and defamation".

Speaking to The Canadian Press on the sidelines of the summit in Armenia, Kagame says the secretary general of the International Organization of la Francophonie and former Canadian governor general simply can't accept that someone else could lead the organization.

In the opinion of several observers, the outgoing secretary-general already had infinitesimal chances of being entrusted with the reins of the institution for a second term in the run-up to the summit on October 11 and 12.

Rwanda's Louise Mushikiwabo is new Secretary-General of La Francophonie

In a closed session today at a summit in Armenia, members of the organization of French-speaking nations chose Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo to replace Jean. Sources said the Canadian government tried unsuccessfully to convince Jean that re-election was improbable.

Mushikiwabo already had the support of France - which is the main funder of la Francophonie - and many African Union countries.

African countries make up the bulk of the 54 states and member governments that voted Friday. "When all the heads of state will be around the table, Canada will realize that the majority, the huge majority, will speak in favour of Rwanda and then the consensus will emerge". France is home to an estimated 500,000 ethnic Armenians, and sizable Armenian communities also live in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and other Francophone countries.

It is also being suggested that behind the scenes, Jean is being quietly advised to withdraw her bid to prevent any ruffled feathers at the summit.

Leblanc said on the weekend that Jean had no intention of dropping out.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who travelled to Yerevan with Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault, met with Jean soon after landing Wednesday.

Canada, the mainly French-speaking province of Quebec and the only officially bilingual province of New Brunswick, all have equal standing at the OIF.

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