Brazil's Right-Wing Presidential Candidate Stabbed in the Stomach

Leroy Wright
September 7, 2018

Brazilian lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro, who is a leading candidate in next month's presidential election, has been stabbed at a campaign event in southeast Brazil. Doctors say he suffered intestinal injuries after being stabbed below his bulletproof vest and will be in the hospital for at least a week.

The military police of Mina Gerais told local media that a 40-year-old suspect had been taken into custody. Other clips show supporters carrying him to a vehicle.

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.

Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed to The Associated Press that Bolsonaro had been stabbed and that his attacker was arrested. More information about de Oliveira wasn't immediately available.

Environmentalist candidate Marina Silva said the attack must be investigated and the perpetrators punished. "Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person".

Mr Bolsonaro, while a controversial and divisive figure in Brazil, is popular with many investors because he has repeatedly said he would entrust economic policymaking to a free-market champion.

According to Bloomberg, "Brazil's stocks and the currency rose as investors saw potential sympathy votes for Bolsonaro as he recovers and some damage to his left-wing contenders". "We won't have a rule of law if we have intolerance".

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He's now on course to win the presidential poll of South America's most economically powerful nation, with his nearest rival the former president, Luiz Inacio da Silva of the Workers Party, banned from running after previously being convicted of corruption.

BBC reported that Bolsonaro has faced fines and charges for alleged bigoted comments about women, Afro-Brazilians and the LGBT community.

He speaks nostalgically about the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders.

Other presidential candidates were quick to condemn the assault.

Fernando Haddad, who is expected to take da Silva's place on the Workers' Party's ticket, called the attack "absurd and regrettable".

Also in March, Marielle Franco, a black councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, was shot to death along with her driver after attending an event on empowering black women.

Meanwhile, on Twitter many decried the stabbing and asked for prayers for Bolsonaro, but others suggested the candidate might have brought the attack upon himself or even staged it.

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