October 9, 2018 5:24 pm
Updated: October 9, 2018 5:27 pm

Canada, Quebec poised to back Rwanda’s Mushikiwabo, not Michaelle Jean, for la Francophonie

Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, who is running for Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), poses for pictures on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2018 in New York.


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.

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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.

READ MORE: Michaelle Jean could face uphill battle in bid for Francophonie re-election

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.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Michaelle Jean at the headquarters of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in Paris, France, April 16, 2018.


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

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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