Rwandan president describes Michaelle Jean’s comments at summit as bitter and angry

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

Her election is a victory for both Rwandan strongman Paul Kagame and French President Emmanuel Macron, who have sought to improve relations between their two nations, long fraught due to Kigali's accusations of French complicity in the 1994 genocide that killed at least 800,000, mostly Tutsis.

The Canadian and Quebec governments announced Tuesday they are pulling their support for former governor general Michaëlle Jean to remain atop the global organization of French-speaking nations, backing instead the "consensus" candidate from Africa.

In a statement, Jeremy Ghio, a spokesperson for Canadian Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Minister Melanie Joly, said that while they respect Jean's track record, Canada will "join the consensus view" on the best candidate for the role.

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

"Are we ready to accept that worldwide organizations are used for partisan purposes?"

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.

Meanwhile, a source close to Jean's campaign says some African leaders are uncomfortable with the idea of a done deal and have even told her directly that they find themselves in an impossible position.

France is seen as wanting to support the Rwandan candidate to gain favour in Africa where its influence is waning to the advantage of China and others.

According to Radio France International, the Haitian-born Jean, a former journalist, hopes to have the support of up to 18 delegations going into Friday's vote. La Francophonie has 54 full member states and governments.

In front of the heads of state and government, Trudeau praised the "remarkable work" done by the former governor general, who focused on women, youth and human rights while in the post. As many as 38 countries are represented by their president or prime minister at the Yerevan summit.

On the weekend, he said Jean was not planning on dropping out of the race.

Trudeau also paid tribute to the late Charles Aznavour, whose music was playing throughout the site of the summit.

The French-Armenian singer passed away on October 1 and his contribution to the French language and culture was highlighted by both Trudeau and Macron.

Altre Notizie