Arce and Evo on Twitter: the pendulum between governance and political alignment
By Bolivia Verifica | Bolívia
Por Isabel Mercado
Updated 28 de April, 2022 at 3:39 pm
The two politicians are active on the social network. One is more focused on governance; the other is more direct and incisive in his views. Learn more
Twitter is the stage for taking positions and often showing the strength and popularity of various political leaders. The platform is also a source of information for the media and helps shape public opinion trends.
Evo Morales has always been active on social media, especially on Twitter. Social networks are the space in which he has expressed his views and positioned himself in different situations since he was president of the country, to the point that many of his announcements have been made through Twitter.
Bolivia’s current president, Luis Arce, did not use to be as active on Twitter; however, as expected of a state dignitary, he has become very active in his postings (more than one a day).
The analysis carried out by Bolivia Verdade for the Digital Democracy Room program of Fundação Getulio Vargas compared the activity level of both politicians throughout March 2022, analyzing the topics of interest to each one and the frequency and quantity of their posts.
Amount and frequency
Although both leaders are very active, President Luis Arce leads in number of tweets made in March 2022, with 205 posts, while Evo Morales made 135 posts.
Both politicians make more than one post a day and their activities are followed by corresponding announcements on social media.
Most of these publications are official – likely written by a communication team –, but some express personal positions, especially in the case of the former president, whose Twitter account also has a pinned message in which he expresses his opinion.
Evo Morales (@evoespueblo) has 1.2 million followers, while Luis Arce(@LuchoXBolivia) has 191,900 followers on Twitter.
President Arce’ topics
Twenty topics were mentioned by the president during March.
As seen, the two topics that received the most attention on President Arce’s Twitter account were Día del Mar (March 23) and the anniversary of El Alto (March 6). In both cases, Arce focused on making congratulatory posts, but also announcements.
On March 6, El Alto’s anniversary, in addition to the tribute to the city’s population, his messages mentioned the inauguration of the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy to help fight cancer in the city.
In the case of Día del Mar, Arce was emphatic in defending the Bolivian maritime claim. He directed several messages to the Chilean authorities, demanding “the century-old debt” that the country owes to Bolivia and referring to former President Salvador Allende and his intentions to support the Bolivian cause of returning to the Pacific coast.
Another topic to which the Bolivian president has devoted frequent attention is health care, which, in his words, is a priority for his government.
Among other issues, Luis Arce paid special attention to women’s rights on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March), with 15 publications mentioning the topic.
Evo Morales’ topics
Twenty two topics were mentioned by the former president Evo Morales during March.
Based on the publications made by former president Evo Morales in March, the topics to which he devotes the most attention are his activities as president of MAS and the tasks and meetings he carries out with the Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, which is also his operations center most of the time.
In addition to posting about his activities, Evo also highlights the importance of this sector for his party and the commitment that his social organizations have with his political movement.
Another topic that deserved Morales’ attention and opinion during March was the war in Ukraine. Unlike President Arce, who did not comment on the matter, Evo was emphatic in condemning the US and NATO for their interference in the conflict.
One more topic Morales devotes attention to is defending the coup d’etat thesis, a topic that is permanently on his agenda and about which he spoke 11 times last month.
The comparison between the main leaders of the governing party is interesting because it reflects their different profiles.
Arce tries to communicate about his administration and does not usually make political comments, except on the occasion of Día de Mar, when he was incisive in his comments to the new president Gabriel Boric regarding the Bolivian maritime claim.
On the other hand, Evo Morales follows a narrative in his comments and keeps political issues on the agenda. His stance on the war in Ukraine has been clear and he has been one of the political leaders in the region who have directly supported the Russian side.
* The Digital Democracy Room is a project of FGV DAPP in Brazil in partnership with Animal Político, Bolivia Verifica, Chequeado, Confidencial, Espacio Público, Linterna Verde and Ojo Público. It’s goal is to monitor and analyze the digital conversations regarding the electoral context.
The analysis is available the website of Bolivia Verifica here.