Jair Bolsonaro, a front-runner in Brazil’s presidential election, stabbed during campaign rally. He is listed in stable condition
A front-runner in Brazil’s presidential election who has been dubbed “the Brazilian Donald Trump” was stabbed during a campaign rally last Thursday, reported the BBC.
The candidate, pro-Israel politician Jair Bolsonaro, was attacked in the city of Juiz de Fora in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais.
His son provided an update on his condition and said he underwent surgery for injuries to his liver and intestines and is now stable.
Recent polls suggest Bolsonaro would get the most votes in next month’s presidential elections if former president Lula da Silva fails in his attempt to overturn a ban on him standing.
Footage of the incident shows Bolsonaro making a thumbs-up gesture and being held aloft by supporters when he appears to be stabbed with a knife.
He then doubles over with pain and his supporters quickly lower him to the ground and bundle him into a car.
Police say a suspect, identified Adelio Obispo de Oliveira, has been arrested.
The 63-year-old is representing the Social Liberal Party (PSL) and many refer to him as the “Brazilian Trump” due to his statements but also due to his platform which is similar to Trump’s.
Bolsonaro is backed by millions of evangelical Christians for his uncompromising anti-abortion stand, noted the BBC.
The polls suggest that Bolsonaro would 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 favorite but he is currently in prison, appealing against a ban on his candidacy that was imposed after his conviction for corruption.
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.
By: Ben Ariel