François Legault not supporting Michaëlle Jean's Francophonie bid

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 meets with Michaelle Jean at the headquarters of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in Paris France

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

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.

In the opinion of several observers, the outgoing secretary-general already had infinitesimal chances of being entrusted with the reins of the institution for a second term in the run-up to the summit on October 11 and 12.

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

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Jean's tenure as the summit of la Francophonie kicked off in the Armenian capital.

"At a moment when we march toward the 50th anniversary of la Francophonie, lets ask ourselves here in Yerevan, in all conscience and in all responsibility, on which side of history do we want to be", Jean said.

In a speech today at the Francophonie summit, Jean urged representatives of member nations not to allow global organizations to be used for partisan purposes.

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Kagame described Jean's comments during her final public address on Thursday as bitter and angry.

Mushikiwabo takes over from Canadian Michaëlle Jean, who has held the position for the last four years.

"I imagine that Madame Jean thinks that she has to prove herself, and she's doing this on principle", Coulon said.

The Rwandan minister already enjoys the support of France and the African Union.

Observers say Canada made a geopolitical calculation in choosing to abandon Jean in favour of the African camp, as Ottawa eyes a seat at the UN Security Council in 2020. Among la Francophonie's 54 full members, only Haiti - her country of birth - continues to back her, he said. As many as 38 countries are represented by their president or prime minister at the Yerevan summit.

Canada also had to consider its relationship with France - President Emmanuel Macron had backed the Rwandan bid in a move widely seen as increasing that country's influence in Africa.

German Ambassador to Rwanda, Dr Peter Woeste, said that Mushikiwabo's victory is "an expression of the fantastic worldwide reputation of your personally and also a great recognition of the role Rwanda plays internationally".

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