“Hello everyone, I’m delighted to launch my Twitter account today. Thanks to all those who will want to follow me!” he tweeted from the account, @NicolasSarkozy, at 8.15am.
(In French, “Bonjour à tous, je suis très heureux de lancer aujourd’hui mon compte Twitter. Merci à ceux qui voudront bien me suivre!”)
He followed this up by reminding his growing band of followers that he had “accepted an invitation from TF1 for their evening news and I’ll see you there.”
Sarkozy was referring to his appearance on one of the main 8pm news bulletins on Wednesday evening where he is expected to announce he will stand in elections due to take place on April 22nd and May 6th.
France has a two-round voting system for elections. A first round of voting on April 22nd will narrow the field to just two candidates who will face each other in a second poll on May 6th.
By 3.45pm on Wednesday afternoon the President had already gathered 38,000 followers. He was following just one account, the Elysée palace, his official residence.
He is likely to outstrip most of his fellow French politicians on Twitter.
His main rival, François Hollande, has 147,000 followers on his account @fhollande while far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen @MLP_officiel has just over 35,000 followers.
On the president’s own side, environment minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, has so far been the most successful political tweeter, with 118,000 followers.