Breaking almost three years of silence from her official Twitter account, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Friday sent a series of tweets joking with a famous parody account and defending Brazil’s economy.
The burst of social media activity comes a year before she’s up for re-election and three months after her popularity plunged in the wake of the biggest protests in a generation.
Rousseff’s return to Twitter is an attempt to neutralize a public image of being brusque and stern ahead of her campaign for re-election, according to Alexandre Barros, head of Early Warning, a political risk consulting firm.
“It’s something to better her image and show she’s accessible, that she talks to people, that she’s nice, because her reputation as far as being open isn’t very good,” Barbosa said. “She got better popularity today, and it’s an attempt to push this a little bit further.”
The fake account known as “Dilma Bolada” has almost 147,000 followers and is managed by Jeferson Monteiro, who sat beside Rousseff at the presidential palace during the exchange. They tweeted about Rousseff’s response to allegations of US espionage, the “More Doctors” program and economic growth.
“Of all economies worldwide, Brazil’s growth was the third fastest in the second quarter,” Rousseff tweeted. “Whoever bets against Brazil always loses.”
Rousseff’s official twitter account has 1.9 million followers and was originally created in April 2010. Rousseff tweeted that she will extend her social media presence to Instagram and Facebook
Approval of Rousseff’s government rose to 37% in September, up from 31% in July, according to a poll published this week by the National Industry Confederation.