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Nicolas Sarkozy launches Twitter account to announce re-election bid

It was a long time coming, but French president and leader of the conservative party Nicolas Sarkozy has finally opened his own account with social media network Twitter.

And in what punters are tipping as a sign that the election race is finally in process, it seems that others are more interested in the tone of the political heavyweight's tweets.

Sarkozy made his re-election bid official on the social media platform on Wednesday (February 15).

In one of his earlier posts the president thanked those "who will kindly follow me" on the popular microblogging site, while also emphasising his campaign motto "work more to earn more".

Less than six hours after opening his account Mr Sarkozy had more than 32,000 plus followers, a figure that has since jumped to 61,320.

So far the president has only uploaded ten tweets, but they seem to be on-message and closely aligned with the government's overarching political narrative, which places France at the centre of EU politics.

A latecomer to Twitter, Mr Sarkozy will have to work hard on engaging more users if he is to compete with main rival Francois Hollande.

The socialists' candidate for the top job is also using the media platform to spread his campaign message and attract young voters, so far Hollande has more than 153,422 followers and 1,745 plus tweets.

However, unlike Sarkozy the left-leaning contender is also taking the time to follow others on Twitter, which may be helping to boost an open dialogue with the internet-savvy public.

The outcome of the country's two-round ballot in April and May is expected to have repercussions throughout the European Union, with Sarkozy's role in the management of the foreign debt crisis firmly under the spotlight.

Recent poll figures show that it will be difficult for Sarkozy to regain ground lost during his term as president, with some already indicating there will be a change of government.

Posted by Aimee McBride

Castleford