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Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's presidential front-runner, stabbed at rally

  • The front-runner in Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, has been stabbed at a campaign rally.
    The far-right politician was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. A suspect was arrested. The front-runner in Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, has been stabbed at a campaign rally.
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America
Category:
Politics
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The front-runner in Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, has been stabbed at a campaign rally.
Jair Bolsonaro is the front-runner and he is in a hospital bed, while the only person thought to be able to beat him is Lula - and he is in a prison cell. It is a surreal situation.

The far-right politician was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. A suspect was arrested.

Mr Bolsonaro had surgery for injuries to his intestines and is expected to recover, hospital officials said.

The controversial politician, who has outraged many in Brazil with racist and homophobic comments, has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.

The polls suggest he will get the most votes in the first round of the October presidential elections if former President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva remains blocked from standing, but he is unlikely to win a run-off.

Left-wing Lula had been the long-standing favourite but he is currently in prison, appealing against a ban on his candidacy that was imposed after his conviction for corruption.

Some of Mr Bolsonaro's past comments have caused uproar, including equating homosexuality with paedophilia, and saying a congresswoman was too ugly to be raped.

Campaigning from hospital and prison

This is another twist - a dramatic one - in what has already been a turbulent campaign for one of Brazil's most uncertain elections in decades.

The far-right politician was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. A suspect was arrested.

Jair Bolsonaro is the front-runner and he is in a hospital bed, while the only person thought to be able to beat him is Lula - and he is in a prison cell. It is a surreal situation.

One of Jair Bolsonaro's key campaign messages is that he will try to turn around the growth in violent crime.
 

The fact that he is now a victim himself plays into the hands of his supporters, who see this as a very important problem for Brazil to tackle. Everyone - including his detractors - has rallied around him to condemn the attack.

As it has happened so close to the October election, he won't be on the campaign trail for the next week or so. Nevertheless, his supporters will be strengthened, seeing that his concerns are their concerns.