Off to Yerevan: Mushikiwabo confident of winning

Sunday October 7 2018

Louise

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo. She is confident of romping to victory in the election for the secretary general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). PHOTO | FILE 

By EDMUND KAGIRE
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Rwanda's Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo will head to Yerevan, Armenia confident of romping to victory in the election for the secretary general of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the unifying body of French-speaking countries.

Ms Mushikiwabo will be facing off with the incumbent Canadian Michaëlle Jean, who has held the post for the past four years.

In an interview with French magazine Jeune Afrique published on October 4, the former Canadian governor general who wants a second term, said that she is confident that she will bounce back despite the odds appearing to be against her.

Ahead of the polls, only Canada and her native country Haiti have expressed support for Ms Jean, who is relying on her achievements to win a second term

“I will present my balance sheet in Yerevan and it is commendable. My record is there for all to see,” Ms Jean said, adding that she has had a successful campaign despite France and the African countries not endorsing her.

French President Emmanuel Macron has affirmed his country’s support for Rwanda’s candidate for the post in a move that is likely to determine the winner.

President Macron’s backing of Ms Mushikiwabo is significant since it is a tradition for the candidate backed by France to secure the position.

Ms Mushikiwabo also has the full backing of the African Union, which directly guarantees her 29 of the 58 votes.

Out of the 84 members of OIF, 58 have voting rights while 26 are observers. Ms Mushikiwabo has been endorsed by the AU which has 29 members with voting rights. She has also visited almost all voting countries.

In Kigali, confidence is high that Ms Mushikiwabo, 57, will clinch the seat of the new look La Francophonie, which President Macron has vowed revitalise.

Rwanda’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe, said Rwanda is confident of the support it has received globally which puts Ms Mushikiwabo in a position to clinch the post.