Rio de Janeiro, Aug 6 (EFE) .- Right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who is currently leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections on October 7, was stabbed in the abdomen today during an electoral rally in the city of Juiz de Fora, in the southern Minas Gerais state, and suffered several stab wounds.
“Jair Bolsonaro suffered an attack, a knife thrust in the abdomen region. But thank God it was only superficial and fine,” said his son, Flavio Bolsonaro, in a message on Twitter.
Bolsonaro underwent minimally invasive surgery because the thrust reached his liver, so doctors recommended surgery. His relatives, however, clarified that the controversial presidential candidate is not at risk of death.
The Rio de Janeiro Congressman was attacked by a stranger while he was carried above a crowd in a central street of Juiz de Fora, the second largest city in the state of Minas Gerais, according to videos that have gone viral on social networks.
The images show the moment when Bolsonaro, wearing a shirt with the colors of the Brazilian soccer time, writhes in pain at the moment he is stabbed, although the attacker himself is not visible, due to the number of people surrounding the team.
According to his son, although the “wound was superficial and did not affect any organ,” Bolsonaro was taken to a hospital in the same city and is currently under medical observation.
The military police of Minas Gerais reported that they arrested a man identified as 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, whom a group was trying to lynch after accusing him of the attack.
Bolsonaro is one of the most controversial candidates in the current elections because he is a defender of the last military dictatorship in Brazil (1964-1985); his candidacy has generated various protests for its insistent sexist, racist, and homophobic statements, and faces legal proceedings for discrimination and incitement to rape.
According to a poll released yesterday, the candidate for the Social Liberal Party (PSL) would win the presidential elections on October 7 in a scenario without Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose candidacy was vetoed by the electoral authority following a bribery conviction, but would lose in the second round against other candidates.
If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, the two leading candidates face off in a second round.
According to the Ibope Institute, Bolsonaro rose from 20% in August to 22% in September, which makes him the favorite to win the first round after the decision of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) to disqualify Lula, the charismatic former president who has been imprisoned since April, and is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption.
Lula was the leader in all polls, consistently polling in the mid-30s, but was declared ineligible due to his corruption conviction.
After Bolsonaro, polls show ecologist Marina Silva and Labor MP Ciro Gomes tied for second place, both with 12%, and the Social Democrat Geraldo Alckmin, with 9%.
Although Bolsonaro is leading the crowded field, more moderate candidates would likely defeat him in a hypothetical second round matchup. A candidate such as Alckmin, former Sao Paulo mayor with a centrist profile, might see growing support as a likely victor in a second-round, for Brazilian voters who are enthused neither by Bolsonaro, nor by the left-wing.
Despite leading currently, Bolsonaro also has the highest negative, with 44% of Brazilians saying they would never vote for him.