Maka Kotto

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Maka Kotto
MP for Saint-Lambert
In office
Preceded by Yolande Thibeault
Succeeded by Josée Beaudin
MNA for Bourget
Assumed office
Preceded by Diane Lemieux
Personal details
Born (1961-12-07) December 7, 1961 (age 53)
Douala, Cameroon
Political party Bloc Québécois, Parti Québécois
Spouse(s) Caroline St-Hilaire
Residence Montreal
Profession author, stage director

Maka Kotto (born December 7, 1961), is a politician of Cameroonian descent from Quebec, Canada who is a Parti Québécois member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Bourget. From 2012 to 2014, he served as the Minister of Culture and Communications. A former member of the Canadian House of Commons for the Bloc Québécois, Kotto is also a published author and has appeared in films.

Early life and education[edit]

Kotto was born in Douala, Cameroon, and graduated from high school at Lycée Henri-Martin in Saint-Quentin, France. He studied law, politics, dramatic art and cinema in Nanterre, Bordeaux and Paris.

Before becoming a politician Kotto was an author, comedian, actor, and stage director. He appeared in the 1989 movie Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired), based on the novel by Dany Laferrière. He also appeared in a second film in 2000, Lumumba, starring as Joseph Kasa-Vubu.

Kotto was also an educator in dramatic art for nearly 15 years in France and Quebec.

Federal political career[edit]

Kotto was elected to the Canadian House of Commons representing the Bloc Québécois in the 2004 Canadian federal election. In that election, he defeated incumbent Liberal MP Yolande Thibeault and five other candidates. Upon winning the Saint-Lambert riding, Kotto became the first black Canadian Member of Parliament for the Bloc. He was re-elected two years later winning a comfortable, but reduced, popular vote and a much larger plurality in the 2006 Canadian federal election. He defeated five other candidates to win his second term in office.

Kotto served as the Bloc's critic for Canadian heritage.

Provincial political career[edit]

On November 12, 2007, Kotto announced that he would be the candidate for the Parti Québécois in the provincial riding of Bourget in Montreal to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of former PQ House Leader Diane Lemieux. It was his second attempt at provincial politics; he was defeated in his previous candidacy in Viau by former Liberal MNA William Cusano.[1]

Kotto resigned his seat in Canadian House of Commons on March 5, 2008 in order to run in the provincial by-election. His vacancy was officially recognized by the Speaker on March 13, 2008.[2]

On May 12, 2008, he won the Bourget by-election as a Parti Québécois candidate with 40% of the vote.[3]

With the election of the Parti Québécois on September 4, 2012, Kotto became Minister of Culture and Communications.[4] Kotto was re-elected in the 2014 Quebec election with a smaller margin, but the Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois was defeated and Kotto became a member of the Official Opposition caucus.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Kotto is the husband of Longueuil mayor Caroline St-Hilaire.

Selected filmography[edit]

Electoral record (partial)[edit]

Quebec general election, 2012: Bourget
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Maka Kotto 16,379 45.68 −4.51
Coalition Avenir Québec Mario Bentrovato 7,503 20.93 +10.60
Liberal Dave McMahon 6,960 19.41 −11.40
Québec solidaire Patrice Gagnon 3,381 9.43 +4.88
Option nationale Paolo Zambito 702 1.96
Green Gilbert Caron 537 1.50 −2.12
Parti indépendantiste Sylvie Tremblay 199 0.57 +0.08
Coalition pour la constituante Jan Stohl 70 0.20
Marxist–Leninist Claude Brunelle 68 0.19
Unité Nationale Gaston Savard 57 0.16
Total valid votes 35,856 98.64
Total rejected ballots 495 1.36
Turnout 36,351 74% −6.0
Electors on the lists 48,998
Quebec provincial by-election, May 12, 2008: Bourget
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Parti Québécois Maka Kotto 6,575 40.66 −0.60
Liberal Lyn Thériault 5,161 31.92 +9.07
Green Scott McKay 1,839 11.37 +3.28
Action démocratique Denis Mondor 1,520 9.40 −13.61
Québec solidaire Gaétan Legault 700 4.33 +0.14
Parti indépendantiste Richard Gervais 376 2.33
Total valid votes 16,171 99.01
Total rejected ballots 162 0.99
Turnout 16,333 34.55 −35.34
Electors on the lists 47,276
Source: Official Results, Le Directeur général des élections du Québec.


  • Kotto, Maka. Femme : libre exaltation poétique. Outremont, Québec: Lanctôt, 2002. 93 p.; 21 cm. (Series: J'aime la poésie 12e) ISBN 2-89485-213-4


External links[edit]