- A presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, in the forthcoming elections in Brazil has been stabbed
- Bolsonaro was allegedly stabbed by a mentally deranged man at a rally
- The doctor attending to him said he could take two months to fully recover from the stabbing and will spend at least a week in the hospital
A far-right presidential candidate dubbed “Brazil’s Donald Trump” was reportedly left fighting for life after being stabbed in the street at a campaign rally.
Jair Bolsonaro, a controversial congressman considered the frontrunner ahead of next month’s national election, was knifed amid a crowd in the city of Juiz de Fora, Independent UK reports.
“His internal wounds were grave and put the patient’s life at risk,” said Doctor Luiz Henrique Borsato, who operated on the politician’s serious intestinal injuries.
Police in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais have reportedly arrested a man over the stabbing, which took place as Bolsonaro was being held aloft on a supporter’s shoulders.
The newspaper reported that TV footage showed a knife being raised above the heads of the crowd and plunged into the candidate’s body, causing him to scream out in pain and fall backwards.
NAIJ.com gathers that the attack on the 63-year-old was a dramatic twist in what was already Brazil’s most unpredictable election since the country’s return to democracy three decades ago.
Rival candidates called off campaigning on Friday, September 7, amid fears that violence could flare as the nation celebrates Independence Day and political groups march in hundreds of cities.
Bolsonaro has allegedly outraged many Brazilians with racist, sexist and homophobic comments, but he is leading the polls ahead of voting on 7 October.
Left-wing former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva had been the long-standing favourite but was jailed for corruption in April and is banned from running for office.
He could take two months to fully recover from the stabbing and will spend at least a week in the hospital, according to Dr Borsato, who said the candidate was at risk of infection after his intestines were punctured.
However, the candidate’s son, Flavio Bolsonaro, said his father was conscious and predicted the attack would be a political boost.
“I just want to send a message to the thugs who tried to ruin the life of a family man, a guy who is the hope for millions of Brazilians: you just elected him president. He will win in the first round,” he said.
Flavio initially tweeted that his father’s wounds were “only superficial”, but later said: ”Unfortunately it was more serious than we had expected.
“He lost a lot of blood, arrived at the hospital with a [blood] pressure of 10/3, almost dead. His condition now seems stabilised. Pray, please!”
Federal police said it had officers escorting Mr Bolsonaro at the time of the knife attack and the “aggressor” was quickly arrested.
Authorities said it was not clear if the stabbing was politically motivated.
Police in Juiz de Fora named the suspect as Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, 40, and said he appeared to be ”mentally disturbed”.
“Our agents there said the attacker said he was ‘on a mission from God,”’ said Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police.
“Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person.”
NAIJ.com previously reported that Former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently serving a 12-year graft sentence, was registered as the presidential candidate of the country’s Worker’s Party on Wednesday, August 15.
Senior party members who registered the candidacy just hours before the deadline, were accompanied to the country’s top electoral court by about 10,000 of the former president’s supporters who chanted “Free Lula” and “Lula for President”.
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