YEREVAN, ARMENIA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to Michaelle Jean in his speech at the opening of the summit of la Francophonie on Thursday in Armenia, just hours before the former governor general finds out whether she’ll be able to continue on as secretary general.
Jean, who has been in the top job at the organization of French-speaking nations since 2014, is facing an uphill climb as she seeks a second term.
In front of the heads of state and government, Trudeau praised the “remarkable work” done by the former governor general, who focused on women, youth and human rights while in the post.
“Michaelle affirmed herself as an ardent defender of women, notably by asserting their right to education and fighting for their emancipation,” Trudeau told dignitaries, lauding her dedication and contagious energy.
After months of supporting her, the Canadian and Quebec governments announced earlier this week that they would rally around “consensus” candidate, Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo. Mushikiwabo also has the support of French President Emmanuel Macron and several African Union countries.
Traditionally, the selection of a secretary general is by agreement, not through a vote.
But, Jean has refused to back down despite her chances of securing another term being described as slim.