Brazilian candidate Jair Bolsonaro stabbed during event

Saul Bowman
September 8, 2018

The attack on Bolsonaro, 63, is a dramatic twist in what was already Brazil's most unpredictable election since the country's return to democracy three decades ago.

After Brazil's Supreme Court ruled that nepotism was illegal in the public administration, Bolsonaro was forced to fire her.

Earlier this year, Marielle Franco, a Rio city councillor who was an outspoken critic of police violence against slum residents, was assassinated.

One supporter camped outside Bolsonaro's hospital room, Bruno Engler, 21, who is running for a Minas Gerais state congressional seat on Bolsonaro's Social Liberal Party, said if he could, he would lynch the suspect.

"His internal wounds were grave and put the patient's life at risk", said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, who operated on the candidate, according to Reuters.

The political scientist thinks that once the commotion of the attack passes, voters may soberly think about the roots of the political polarization and aggressive rhetoric that has engulfed Brazil. It said the circumstances were being investigated.

A police spokesman confirmed that the alleged attacker - named as Adélio Bispo de Oliveira - is now in custody. Other videos show supporters carrying him to a auto.

Bispo de Oliveira acted "for religious reasons, for political reasons, and also because of the prejudice Bolsonaro has always shown when he talks about race, religion and even women", said his lawyer, Pedro Augusto Lima Possa. "In this hard moment that our country is going through, we must rigorously safeguard human life and the defense of our institutions and democratic life", she said. Vitor Albuquerque, a spokesperson for the local police.

Images on Brazilian television and social media showed Mr Bolsonaro being carried on the shoulders of a throng of supporters, before a man lunges at his stomach.

Bolsonaro was waving to the crowd when he suddenly clutched his abdomen and cried out in pain before falling backwards into the arms of those around him.

Other presidential candidates quickly denounced the stabbing and many of them chose to suspend their campaign events Friday.

A few people gathered outside the hospital where Bolsonaro was treated Thursday night where the scene was calm.

Other candidates quickly denounced the stabbing.

According to research company Ibope, Bolsonaro will have a strong first round but lose a run-off to leftist Ciro Gomes, environmentalist Marina Silva or ex-Governor of Sao Paulo Geraldo Alckmin.

Some Bolsonaro backers and analysts, especially in financial markets, forecast the attack could give Bolsonaro a huge boost.

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

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