Brazil presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro stabbed

Posted September 09, 2018

The leading candidate in Brazil's presidential election is in serious but stable condition after being stabbed by an assailant at a campaign rally on Thursday, doctors said, pushing an already chaotic campaign into further disarray.

Under Brazil's campaign laws, Bolsonaro's tiny coalition has nearly no campaign time on government-regulated candidate ad blocs on television and radio, so Bolsonaro relies on social media and rallies around the country to drum up support. He was immediately taken to a local hospital and his son tweeted that his father's wounds were "only superficial" and said he "is OK".

Bolsonaro, a controversial figure in Brazilian politics, is second in the polls to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is barred from running but who has appealed multiple times.

In the hours following the attack in Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro supporters predicted it would carry him to the presidency. Local media said he was rounded on and beaten by Bolsonaro supporters.

A woman lights a candle for presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro after he was stabbed by a man in Juiz de Fora at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil September 6, 2018.

Bolsonaro's son Flavio said his father was stable after suffering wounds to the liver, lung and intestine.

Note, according to experts, Bolsonaro is the main contender for victory in the presidential election.

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He is seen flinching and then goes out of view.

Jair Bolsonaro, a right-leaning candidate and longtime congressman, reportedly arrived at the hospital "almost dead" after suffering severe internal bleeding and damage from the attack.

Brazil's President Michel Temer commented on the attack during an event in the nation's capital, Brasilia, saying "the intolerance that there's been in Brazilian society is unacceptable".

The attack is likely to have a major impact on the remaining four weeks of the campaign, from how candidates interact with supporters to their message.

Despite being a long-serving member of Congress, Mr Bolsonaro has successfully presented himself as an outsider, untouched by the corruption scandals engulfing so much of the political elite.

Bolsonaro did have bodyguards, but the suspect was able to sneak through the crowd and take advantage of the chaotic scene and get to the candidate. 'They made Bolsonaro a martyr, ' said Jonatan Valente, a student. Fernando Haddad, who is expected to replace Lula on the Workers' Party ticket, said the attack was "absurd and regrettable".

"This incident increases Bolsonaro's election chances", said Mr Richard Back, head of Latin America political strategy at XP Investimentos.