Brazil far-right candidate Bolsonaro in stable condition after stabbing

Brazil far-right candidate Bolsonaro in stable condition after stabbing

Brazilian far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has undergone "successful" surgery for injuries suffered in a stabbing at a campaign stop on Thursday, his running mate General Hamilton Mourão told Reuters by telephone. Lula appealed the electoral court decision that denied his candidacy, but on Thursday, Brazil's Supreme Court rejected it, effectively putting an end to the former president's hopes. That puts Mr Bolsonaro in the lead position, though it is unclear how the attack might affect the campaign for the October 7 presidential ballot.

Under Brazil's campaign laws, Bolsonaro's tiny coalition has nearly no campaign time on government-regulated candidate ad blocs on television and radio, so Bolsonaro relies on social media and rallies around the country to drum up support.

A military police spokesman told AFP a 40-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the assault.

"Our agents there said the attacker said he was "on a mission from God", said Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police.

Eduardo Bolsonaro said his father was stabbed in the abdomen.

Earlier, one of the candidate's sons, Flavio Bolsonaro, had announced on Twitter that his father's wounds were "superficial", but he later wrote: "Unfortunately, it's more serious than we thought".

"They made Bolsonaro a martyr", said Jonatan Valente, a student who joined a small vigil for Mr Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo.

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.

During an event later in the nation's capital, Brazil's President Michel Temer said that "the intolerance that there's been in Brazilian society is unacceptable".

Leftist candidates running against Bolsonaro have come out against the violent attack.

Lula, who was previously leading the opinion polls, is now serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud related to a corruption scandal.

Political violence is common at state and city levels in Brazil, most recently with the high-profile assassination of a Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman.

Despite being a long-serving member of congress, he has successfully presented himself as an outsider, untouched by the corruption scandals engulfing so much of the political elite.

Bolsonaro has climbed steadily in the polls on the back of political corruption, rising crime rates across Brazil's urban areas and a well orchestrated social media campaign.

He also speaks nostalgically about the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and has promised to fill his government with current and former military leaders.

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