The Canadian and Quebec governments look set to throw their support behind Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, not former governor general Michaelle Jean, as the head of la Francophonie.
Members of the international 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 Oct. 11-12.
A spokesperson for Melanie Joly, the minister who oversees Canadian engagement in la Francophonie, said in an email that Canada would be supporting the “consensus view” on who should head the organization — Mushikiwabo has already garnered the support of France and the African Union.
“We have tremendous respect for Madame Jean’s track record as Secretary General of la Francophonie, particularly as it relates to the education and empowerment of women and girls,” the spokesperson for Joly said.
“With respect to the choice of the next Secretary General, Canada will join the consensus view as is the organization’s custom.”
Earlier Tuesday, Quebec’s premier-designate Francois Legault tweeted that there was a need for what he called a new style of management for the organization, and that his province would support African countries’ consensus.
Jean has been dogged by accusations of excessive spending during her time as head of la Francophonie after Quebecor media outlets reported she spent $500,000 renovating her rented Paris residence and as well as $20,000 on a piano.
— With files from the Canadian Press