Brazil's Bolsonaro still in serious condition but leads polls

Far-right candidate in Brazil’s presidential election Jair Bolsonaro is to have more major surgery after being attacked with a knife on September 6 but holds a 26 per cent clear lead in the race for October’s presidential election, in a survey of first-round votes released September 11 by pollster Ibope. (Reuters)

His doctors said the 63-year-old remained in intensive care following the attack by a lone assailant. (UOL, in Portuguese)

He suffered a deep and life-threatening wound to his intestines and lost 40% of his blood, and will be confined to either hospital or his home for several more weeks.

Bolsonaro was stabbed at a campaign rally in Minais Gerais state and was left in critical but stable condition, according to doctors.

Federal police said in a statement that a 40-year-old suspect, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, had been taken into custody and that he appeared to be mentally unfit. The attack occurred in Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles north of Rio de Janeiro.

Many Brazilians are angry at corruption in their country and are turning to far-right politics in response (The Guardian). Bolsonaro, a fan of the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, hopes to makes his way into the presidency.

The former army officer is currently in second place in the polls behind ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (BBC).

He has courted controversy by insulting gays and women, as well as by heaping praise on the torturers of the country’s dictatorship. But supporters believe Bolsonaro is the savior of their country — not least because his second name is Messias, Portuguese for ‘messiah’ (Yahoo/AFP).

Bolsonaro made his announcement to a raccous crowd a day after centrist parties threw their support behind centrist rival Geraldo Alckmin.

“Once again, thank you Geraldo Alkmin for uniting the scum of Brazilian politics”, Bolsonaro said, referencing the four-time governor of Sao Paulo and candidate for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, who leads the polls ahead of Bolsonaro by more than 10 percent (The Telegraph).

Bolsonaro’s has an anti-corruption message and vows to loosen gun controls (EuroNews) to fight crime, which resonates in the city, where insecurity and crime have provoked the federal government’s intervention in the state’s security. A corruption scandal at Petrobras has also landed the state-owned petroleum company with billions of dollars in debt.

“He’s our hope. The Brazilian people are discouraged by all the corruption,” said Gilcemar Jasset, a 35-year-old Rio de Janeiro bus driver. (Reuters).

In spite of his popularity, Bolsonaro is only supported by a small party base, which entitles his party to only 10 seconds’ free TV airtime — a serious handicap in a nation where televised adverts have a big impact (Bloomberg).

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