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French press review 12 October 2018

Françafrique clouds hang over Francophonie Summit in Armenia. And the French run out of patience over 10-day delay of cabinet reshuffle


According to several papers, at the gathering in Yerevan, the choice of the organization's new chief is generating angry reactions about continuing back-door dealings in former sub-Saharan colonies, at the expense of human rights and democracy.

This is as the Francophonie prepares to elect Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo as its next Secretary General.

Libération presents the decision as a deal between French President Emmanuel Macron and Rwandan President Paul Kagame which is likely to damage France's reputation and the OIF's mission to promote the values of the French language and human rights."

For La Montagne Centre France, it is only when the Francophonie would have cast the demons of Françafrique that the organization can start talking about defending the French Language.

Some papers like Le Monde investigate the failed bid by Saudi Arabia to join the 84-member club. Ryad is explains, was forced to withdraw its application at the last minute

This was after the Kingdom came under heavy criticism over its human rights record, growing international pressure for the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

As France continues to await the appointment of a new Interior Minister, 10 days after Gerard Collomb's resignation.

Several newspapers believe the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle could happen tonight when President Emmanuel Macron returns from the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan.

As political commentators draw attention to the unprecedented and unending wait, L’Est Republican says his decision will enable the country to know, the delay is evidence of the young President's inexperience or proof that he has the guts to keep the country waiting.

Le Télégramme come out in defence of the President arguing that there is neither a vacuum either at the helm of the strategic Interior Ministry where Prime Minister Edouard Philippe act in an interim capacity, nor in the conduct of government business.

The publication makes the point that President is in no mood to make concessions when it comes to exercising the powers bestowed on him, adding that he will decide at a time of his choosing and not dictated to by the news channels.

For La Marseillaise, the awaited cabinet reshuffle is turning into a farce with the executive couple locked in a so-called pitiful petit game of influence peddling and over-bidding, allegedly by President Macron's close aides in government threatening to resign if they don't get promotions or his former Centrist allies like François Bayrou's MODEM trying to return to the government.

Le Monde welcomes the appointment of a new Finance Minister in South Africa after President Cyril Ramaphosa picked Tito Mboweni to replace Nhlanhla Nene. The newspaper underlines the paradox that a defender of financial orthodoxy has been brought in to replace Nene was originally seen as the country's most qualified anti-graft tsar.

According to Le Monde the close Ramaphosa ally and leading figure in the government's efforts to tackle graft he door after admitting that he paid six visits to the influential Gupta brothers at the heart of the high-profile State Capture corruption  scandal that led to President Jacob Zuma's removal from office.

The Guptas are a trio of Indian-born brothers accused of fraudulently profiting from vast government contracts and energy and transport deals during Zuma's nine-year rule.


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