Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praises Michaelle Jean at Francophonie summit

Aaron Brown
October 14, 2018

The Rwandan politician said she did not intend to make major changes to the direction of the organization, but she promised more transparency in Francophonie spending.

"We have tremendous respect for madam Jean's track record as Secretary General of la Francophonie, particularly as it relates to education, and empowerment of women and girls".

Jean - who has held the top position since 2014 - is up against Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo when members choose a new secretary general at la Francophonie's summit in Armenia on October 11-12.

She is facing strong competition from Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.

The souvenir sheet was cancelled by the President of the Republic of France H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia H.E. Mr. Nikol Pashinyan.

Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault tweeted Tuesday that his government would not support Jean and would join what he called the "African consensus".

After a four-year term marked by controversy, the former governor general was considered a long shot for re-election.

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In a speech today at the Francophonie summit, Jean urged representatives of member nations not to allow worldwide organizations to be used for partisan purposes. However he is also accused by rights groups of trampling on the opposition and muzzling dissent, accusations his government rejects.

In an interview with The Canadian Press Friday, Kagame pushed back against Jean's criticism of his country.

"I think it was outright wrong", Kagame said of Jean's message. "To tell people who've made a choice that they are wrong - that it should be her and not everyone else - in that way, I think it displays the problem".

Justin Trudeau is seeking to curry favour with African nations with a view towards collecting votes for Canada's bid for one of the temporary seats on the U.N. Security Council in 2020.

In the run up to the Francophonie vote, opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was unexpectedly freed from jail, and government critic Diane Rwigara was granted bail in an ongoing trial after a year in prison. As many as 38 countries are represented by their president or prime minister at the Yerevan summit.

Asked if Macron's backing of Mushikiwabo pointed to improved ties between the two countries, a French presidency official said: "His support deepens the dialogue between the two presidents but it will not be the act that leads to a normalization of relations". "And it accepted the children and families who were fleeing the genocide, who enriched our nation even more", Macron said in his note in the Memory Book.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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