Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Armenia Hosts Summit Of Francophone 'Family'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Michaelle Jean at the headquarters of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in Paris France Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praises Michaelle Jean at Francophonie summit
Sandra Phillips | 13 October, 2018, 20:57

"Louise Mushikiwabo's candidacy highlights development of the French-speaking community, and regarding differences with France, especially their role in the genocide against the Tutsi, we will discuss it during the bilateral relations, " Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's secretary of state, said in June as the country its leadership bid for La Francophonie.

Ahead of Thursday and Friday (11-12 October) elections in Yerevan - Armenia's capital, Canada issued a statement saying it "will join the consensus view" - which signals a pull of its suporting arm to the incumbent and Canadian Michaëlle Jean.

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

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.

After months of supporting her, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced this week that they would rally around a "consensus" candidate.

Members of the global organization of French-speaking countries will choose between Jean, who has held the position since 2014, and Mushikiwabo, who has served as Rwanda's foreign affairs minister since 2009, during la Francophonie's summit in Armenia on October 11-12.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault took part in a family photo at the Francophonie summit in Yerevan, Armenia on Thursday.

Thus with apparently limited worldwide support and somewhat lukewarm Canadian support, Jean's re-election chances had been slim.

Mushikiwabo has support from France and the African Union countries, leaving Jean's chances of retaining the top job slim, particularly without Canada and Quebec in her corner. He said it was time for "a new style of management" in the organization.

"Michaelle affirmed herself as an ardent defender of women, notably by asserting their right to education and fighting for their emancipation", Trudeau told dignitaries, lauding her dedication and contagious energy. Quebecor media outlets reported she spent $500,000 renovating her rented Paris residence, as well as $20,000 on a piano, but she's defended the spending in interviews.

- with files from Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal.

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