Brazil far-right candidate Bolsonaro stabbed, has liver injury

Madureira market in Rio de Janeiro

Madureira market in Rio de Janeiro

Right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who leads opinion polls ahead of the October vote against several left-wing candidates, was seriously injured in the attack.

Bolsonaro's son said the injury is not life-threatening. Corruption investigations have jailed scores of businessmen and politicians in recent years and alienated voters.

"(The pain) was intolerable and it seemed like maybe something worse was happening", he said in a video from his hospital bed early Friday. In many ways, the incident feeds Bolsonaro's narrative that Brazil is in chaos and needs a strong hand to steady it. That means he relies deeply on social media and raucous rallies around the country to drum up support. The inability to hold street rallies could impact his campaign.

"If he'd been farther from the hospital or in a city that was unprepared, he'd probably have died", his son Eduardo, a fellow lawmaker, said by phone.

"Our agents there said the attacker was 'on a mission from God, '" Boudens said.

"He lost a lot of blood and arrived in hospital with 100/30 pressure, he was nearly dead", Flavio Bolsonaro said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, on Twitter many decried the stabbing and asked for prayers for Bolsonaro, but others suggested the candidate might have brought the attack upon himself or even staged it. "He will win in the first round", he said. However, despite his seemingly high popularity, Bolsonaro have so far failed to form any alliance with any major political forces in Brazil so far.

Supporters of Bolsonaro then descended on the assailant, beating him before police were able to take the man into custody. Statements about women, minorities and LGBT people have repelled some Brazilians, but attracted many others.

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Bolsonaro faces trial before the Supreme Court for speech that prosecutors said incited hate and rape. He calls the charges politically motivated.

His stabbing is the latest instance of political violence, which is particularly rampant at the local level.

For instance, in the months before 2016 city council elections in Baixada Fluminense, a hardscrabble region the size of Denmark that surrounds Rio de Janeiro, at least 13 politicians or candidates were murdered before ballots were cast.

That same month, Marielle Franco, a councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, was shot to death along with her driver. It said the circumstances were being investigated.

A suspect identified as 40-year-old Adélio Bispo de Oliveira was arrested on the scene, police confirmed.

According to diario26.com, Oliveira is an "activist" who was affiliated with the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) in Minas Gerais between 2007 and 2014.

"The episode tends to intensify an already polarised political environment in Brazil", Mr Christopher Garman, executive director for Americas at Eurasia Group, said by phone. Vitor Albuquerque, a spokesperson for the local police.

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