Diouf tipped to become new Francophonie boss

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Former Senegalese President Abdou Diouf has "real chances" to be elected the next Secretary General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), a source close to the presidency in Dakar said Monday.
"His candidature is backed by the organisation's main donors including France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland.
He has also secured the support of Egypt and Lebanon, which hosts the next Francophonie Summit", a close aide of Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade told PANA Monday.
The election of the new OIF boss will be one of the highlights of the forthcoming Francophonie Summit to be held in Beirut 18-19 October.
The new OIF secretary general will be elected for a four-year renewable four-year term.
"We have the support of 2/3 of the African countries.
Now we will canvass for the backing of countries like Romania, Czech Republic and Laos to reflect President Diouf support from diverse cultural and geographical zones of the Francophonie organisation", Wade's aide added.
"We are optimistic, we do hope that President Diouf will be elected at the helm of the organisation.
At any rate, if the elections were held now, we are certain that he would win", the source affirmed.
The Senegalese candidate's main rival is Henri Lopes from Congo-Brazzaville, who enjoys the support of certain African countries, including Gabon.
"We would really want reach a consensus around President Diouf's candidacy and Senegal is working for that.
French President Jacques Chirac is favourable to our approach", the official added.
The official revealed that Chirac would convene a Francophonie group meeting on 3 September in the course of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, to find a consensus on the candidates.
A few weeks ago, at the initiative of President Wade, Senegal launched an intensive campaign for Abdou Diouf's bid to replace Egypt's Boutros Boutros-Ghali at the helm of the OIF.

12 august 2002 22:21:00




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