Francophone Summit postponed again

APA - Tunis (Tunisia)

Member states of the International Francophone Organization (OIF) have found a “consensus” on a one-year postponement of their summit in Djerba, Tunisia.

The 18th Summit of La Francophonie, which was to be held in Tunisia in November 2021, has been postponed again, because of the Covid-19 and the political crisis in the host country.

Members of the Permanent Council of La Francophonie (CPF), meeting on Tuesday, decided on postponing the event for one year, the OIF said in a statement. 

This would allow Tunisia to organize the event "in the best possible conditions,” the statement said. 

The decision must be validated by the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie before being finally endorsed.

Originally scheduled to take place in Tunis in 2020, the summit was first postponed to May 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Finally, it was moved out of the capital to the Tunisian island of Djerba and was to take place in November 2021.

This new delay of the event, which is held every other year, is justified by health and especially political concerns. 

It could also be seen as a signal sent to Tunisian President Kais Saied who has arrogated to himself powers over state institutions. 

The head of state, mired in a power struggle with the main conservative Islamist party Ennahda, suspended the country's parliament and constitution last July. 

Since then, he has been governing by decree.

One of the main objectives of La Francophonie, which has 88 members, is to support the rule of law, human freedoms and rights. 

Therefore, some members of the Permanent Council are hoping that this postponement will move the lines and help stabilize the situation in Tunisia. 

Despite the formation of a new government last Monday, several OIF member states remain worried about the political situation in Tunisia.

The last Francophone summit took place in Yerevan, the Armenian capital in 2018. 

It marked the end of the mandate of Secretary General Michaelle Jean, the former governor of Canada and her replacement by Rwanda's Louise Mushikiwabo.


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