Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praises Michaelle Jean at Francophonie summit

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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?"

Members of the global 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 October 11-12.

On the other hand, Quebec's Premier-designate François Legault had earlier stated that his new leadership will not support Mrs Jean for her re-election as the head of the OIF - vowing to join the African consensus he said "is full of potential".

Canada's joining of the consensus view is a huge boost for Minister Mushikiwabo who has already won support of French President Emmanuel Macron and was overwhelmingly ensorsed by the African Union's member States.

He further tweeted that the designation of Mushikiwabo as secretary general of the Francophonie is victory of a dynamic, ambitious and relevant Francophonie in the world's politics and business. "That is why I intend to support a candidacy from this continent". Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been labelled an authoritarian by rights groups.

But, Jean has refused to back down despite her chances of securing another term being described as slim.

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Jeremy Ghio, press secretary for the Minister of Official Languages and La Francophonie, said the government wants the summit to be an opportunity to discuss the priorities of the heads of state and government for the coming years.

Meanwhile, a source close to Jean's campaign says some African leaders are uncomfortable with the idea of a done deal and have even told her directly that they find themselves in an impossible position.

According to Radio France International, the Haitian-born Jean, a former journalist, hopes to have the support of up to 18 delegations going into Friday's vote.

Trudeau and Jean had a one-on-one meeting upon the prime minister's arrival in Yerevan but no details were released.

Despite not backing her, Macron also paid homage to Jean's fight for women's rights. "I'll confirm she'll be there until the end and probably beyond", Leblanc said at the time.

A big part of the concert will be dedicated to famed French singer Charles Aznavour, the son of Armenian immigrants who died on October 1 at the age of 94. "This momentum of solidarity was perhaps the greatest tribute that could have been made to him".

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