Lopes optimistic to become Francophonie secretary general

Paris- France (PANA) -- Henri Lopes, the Congolese candidate for the post of secretary-general of the International Francophonie organisation has expressed optimism that he would get elected.
In interview with PANA in Paris on Wednesday, Lopes said he was counting on the support of at least 22 African Francophonie member-countries to get elected at the Francophonie summit scheduled in Beirut for next October.
African countries want "to play their role as active members of the Organisation and claim their rights", Lopes said.
"I think that the election will not be won by confrontation, but through dialogue with "people of goodwill," Lopes, who is also Congo's ambassador to France, said.
"My candidacy, submitted before the Hanoi summit, had been suggested by several countries which thought that I have the right profile, regarding my international experience," Lopes said, adding that his career as a political leader and writer has always served the Francophonie ideal and cause.
He cited that during his international career he has established personal relations with several Heads of State, who honoured him with their friendship.
"This would constitute a valuable asset for me in the discharge of my duties during my mandate at the head of OIF if I were to be elected," Lopes said.
He said some 22 Francophonie African countries promised him their support at the recent OAU summit in Lusaka, Zambia.
"I am convinced that African member countries of the Francophonie wish to have someone from sub-Saharan Africa at the helm of the organisation," said Lopes, who had a long tenure as UNESCO's assistant secretary-general for Africa.
Incumbent secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali is also a candidate for the post.

19 july 2001 21:51:00

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