Rwandan woman chosen to head body for French-speaking world

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

The campaign took Mushikiwabo to; Madagascar, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Senegal, Cameroon, Mauritania (during AU Summit), Guinea, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, Armenia, Lebanon and Tunisia.

In the run up to the Francophonie vote, opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was unexpectedly freed from jail, and government critic Diane Rwigara was granted bail in an ongoing trial after a year in prison.

For Universite de Montreal researcher Jocelyn Coulon, the tense battle over the secretary general post should serve as a lesson to the organization.

"I think it was outright wrong", Kagame said of Jean's message. "She thinks she's the best to continue in this job, and she's convinced that she will be able on Friday morning, when she meets with the heads of state, to change their minds".

"As secretary-general, I intend to give importance to French in an increasingly multilingual world because I am convinced that French has its place among other languages and for the good of the world", Mushikiwabo told an OIF summit in Armenia.

Thus with apparently limited global support and somewhat lukewarm Canadian support, Jean's re-election chances had been slim. Sources said the Canadian government tried unsuccessfully to convince Jean that re-election was improbable.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault took part in a family photo at the Francophonie summit in Yerevan, Armenia on Thursday. But the kingdom has sent a letter to the OIF, requesting "postponement" of the membership application, said the organization.

A spokesman for the federal minister responsible for la Francophonie, Melanie Joly, said in an email Tuesday that Canada was ready to "rally around the consensus".

The French president is a strong supporter of the candidacy of rwanda, are also accused of being contrary to the charter of the OIF, which has included "support Human rights" as one of its primary missions. Quebecor media outlets reported she spent $500,000 renovating her rented Paris residence, as well as $20,000 on a piano, but she's defended the spending in interviews.

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.

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.

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