Michaelle Jean Loses Backing Of Canada, Quebec Governments For Francophonie Leadership

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

Michaelle Jean Loses Backing Of Canada, Quebec Governments For Francophonie Leadership

Mushikiwabo reacted to Legault's statement by tweeting, "Quebec's support for the African candidacy is highly appreciated; it is the illustration of positive solidarity in the French-speaking world!"

On Tuesday, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced they were pulling support for Jean to remain the head of the worldwide organization of French-speaking nations, electing to support the "consensus" candidate instead.

"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.

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?"

But Michaelle Jean, the former governor general and current holder of the top job at the global body, showed no signs of abandoning her candidacy despite losing the support of her home country and province. Jean asked. "Are we ready to accept that democracy, rights and freedoms are reduced to mere words, that we make them meaningless in the name of realpolitik?"

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

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"I think it was outright wrong", Kagame said of Jean's message.

Jean's spokesman, Bertin Leblanc, told The Canadian Press Tuesday there would be a reaction from Jean "no doubt calmly, tomorrow morning".

"I have worked with her for the last nine years; she is an intelligent, smart and experienced woman who associates well with people".

In July, African francophone countries officially rallied behind Mushikiwabo, a position consistent with their policy of backing an African candidate sensitive to the needs of states that comprise more than half of the OIF membership. La Francophonie has 54 full member states and governments.

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.

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.

Macron also addressed the meeting, saying that the Francophonie "family" can contribute to worldwide peace.

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