Michaelle Jean defeated in Francophonie re-election bid

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Secretary General of La Francophonie and former governor general of Canada Michaelle Jean.

"Are we ready to accept that global organizations are used for partisan purposes?"

Jean says democracy, rights and freedoms should not take a back seat to deals between states or special interests.

Jean, who has been secretary general since 2014, is seeking a second term and will be up against Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo when members make their choice later this week.

Both Canada and Quebec withdrew their support for Jean this week, saying they would back the "consensus candidate".

The decision was announced Friday by the organization and by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian at a summit of member countries in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Jean was the first secretary-general not to come from Africa since the position was created in 1997.

Her principle rival Mushikiwabo has support from France and the African Union countries, leaving Jean's chances of retaining the top job extremely thin.

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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 was head of La Francophonie for four years, but her time was marked with controversy, dogged by reports of excessive spending and questionable expenses. But the kingdom has sent a letter to the OIF, requesting "postponement" of the membership application, said the organization. La Francophonie has 54 full member states and governments.

"When I arrived in Armenia, I immediately thought of a great man I loved so much, a great lover of the French language who died last week, the incomparable Charles Aznavour", Trudeau said. France is home to an estimated 500,000 ethnic Armenians, and sizable Armenian communities also live in Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and other Francophone countries.

Her candidacy sparked criticism with Rwanda under fire over human rights violations and Kagame's controversial constitutional changes that allow him to extend his stay in power.

"La Francophonie must be the space that fights for the rights of women, and I want to salute the work that was done by Michaelle Jean, to whom I pay tribute, who strongly mobilized in this fight", Macron said near the end of his opening remarks.

Canada may have chosen to abandon Jean partly for geopolitical and strategic reasons as it tries to secure a seat on the UN Security Council in 2020.

Asked if Macron's backing of Mushikiwabo pointed to improved ties between the two countries, a French presidency official said: "His support deepens the dialogue between the two presidents but it will not be the act that leads to a normalization of relations".

"It must be reformed to make it more transparent, which will give more credibility to the person elected".