Assailant stabs presidential candidate on campaign stop

Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro has been stabbed while he was campaigning in the city of Juiz de Fora, about 200km north of Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian police on Thursday said the 63-year-old politician was stabbed in the abdomen at a philanthropic cancer hospital by an unidentified attacker, who has been arrested.

Videos shared on social media showed Bolsonaro, whose agenda includes cracking down on crime in Latin America’s largest nation, being stabbed with a knife to the lower part of his stomach.

GloboNews, a Brazilian 24-hour television news channel, said Bolsonaro was taken to a hospital in Juiz de Fora, where he underwent surgery.

The channel said the right-wing leader has suffered a “serious” liver injury as a result of the attack.

Bolsonaro is the frontrunner in the first-round of the presidential elections next month with 22 percent support, according to a poll published by the Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (Ibope), a private media company in Brazil.

It was the first public opinion poll since former president and popular leftist, Luiz Inacio da Silva, was barred from running by Brazil’s electoral court on September 1.

Lula, who was previously leading the opinion polls, is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud related to a corruption scandal.

Bolsonaro has been described a right-wing nationalist and populist, who strongly opposes left-wing policies.

The frontrunner has caused a number of controversies in recent years, saying in 2015 that he didn’t believe men and women should not receive equal pay because women become pregnant and other similar “homophobic” comments.

Lula’s likely replacement, Fernando Haddad, who has also been charged with corruption, came in last with six percent in the Ibope poll, which, however, also found that a third of Brazil’s population is undecided.

Brazil’s first round of voting will take place on October 7. – Al Jazeera.

 

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